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Skiers and snowboarders are bracing for what could possibly be the first fairly decent snowfall of the winter season.

Snow levels are expected to drop in the coming days around the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia mountain ranges.

Whistler-Blackcomb Resort received almost 6 inches of new snow since Sunday at their Pig Alley weather station atop Whistler Mountain at 5,400 foot elevation.

A snowboarder finds fresh powder in the steep tree line at the Mount Baker Ski Area. Photo courtesy of Brad Andrew and the Mount Baker Ski Area.
A snowboarder finds fresh powder in the steep tree line at the Mount Baker Ski Area. Photo courtesy of Brad Andrew and the Mount Baker Ski Area.

The current snow base is 30.3 inches, and more snow was expected to fall on Monday through Friday anywhere from a trace to 4 inches. The freezing level is expected to stay under 4,000 feet so any precipitation above that will come in the form of snow.

The big snow day is expected to occur this Saturday when 6 inches is forecast although the freezing will shoot up to almost 5,000 feet.

The staff at Whistler-Blackcomb Resort indicated they’re firing up the snowmaking guns to give Mother Nature a “helping hand.”

The mega-resort’s official opening date is Nov. 24, but if the stars align they could open earlier.

Stay tuned…

The Peak-to-Peak Gondola shuttle passengers to the hilltops at Whistler-Blackcom Resort. Photo courtesy of Mitch Winton at Coast Mountain Photography and Whistler-Blackcomb Resort.
The Peak-to-Peak Gondola shuttle passengers to the hilltops at Whistler-Blackcom Resort. Photo courtesy of Mitch Winton at Coast Mountain Photography and Whistler-Blackcomb Resort.

As for Washington ski areas, the record setting temperatures melted away what little snow existed, but by Sunday the higher elevation areas on the summit of Crystal Mountain and Mount Baker were covered with a dusting of snow.

Winter could be returning soon to Cascade ski areas at places like Stevens Pass Resort. Photo courtesy of Stevens Pass Resort.
Winter could be returning soon to Cascade ski areas at places like Stevens Pass Resort. Photo courtesy of Stevens Pass Resort.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory through late Tuesday night in the northern Cascades with accumulations of 10 to 15 inches. The heaviest amounts of snow will fall Tuesday morning through the late afternoon hours.

The weather service says to expect a cooler trough of low pressure to arrive over the Pacific Northwest later this week, which could produce snow here and there. The freezing elevation will bounce around at first dropping down to 2,500 feet and then shooting back up between 5,000 and 5,500 feet through Sunday.

The west slopes of north-central Cascades a could see between 3 to 15 inches of new snow, but not a huge amount of the white stuff. Ski areas like Crystal Mountain, Mission Ridge, White Pass and Stevens Pass should benefit from this upcoming colder weather pattern.

In the meantime a little prayer to the snow gods might be helpful, but the general outlook this winter calls for plenty of snow to cover the hillsides.