Good news for skiers, snowboarders and snow enthusiasts this weekend and possibly into next week: Up to 2 feet of fresh snow will blanket the Cascade mountains at the beginning of the three-day holiday — and we could see blue skies.
A winter-storm advisory was in effect early Friday and a watch is in place for Friday night through Saturday morning when the bulk of the snow is expected to fall, according to Carly Kovacik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
The weather service is predicting that Paradise on Mount Rainier will see between 24 and 30 inches during the next 48 hours, Mount Baker will get 8 to 12 inches, Snoqualmie Pass will receive 12 to 18 inches and Stevens Pass 18 to 24 inches.
Friday’s early snow will taper off by 10 a.m., and there will be a brief period of clear weather before the next frontal system moves in later, Kovacik said. The weather service has issued a snow watch for the second front, as it will impact traffic and travel through the mountain passes, but has not determined whether it will merit a warning or an advisory.
“At this point, it’s just a heads up,” Kovacik said. “If we think it will have a big impact it will be a warning and if small, just an advisory.”
The snow level will rise from 1,500 feet to between 2,000 and 3,000 feet during the day on Saturday, she said. Avalanche danger was listed Friday as moderate, she said.
“We could have ideal (skiing) conditions with the snow on the ground by Saturday and a chance the skies could clear up in the latter half of the weekend,” she said.
On the Stevens Pass ski resort web page, the resort touted the 256 inches of snow it received last month and said it’s “flush with a nice winter coat,” “sitting pretty” and ready for more.