Looking ahead at the upcoming week, I do not have encouraging news about the weather. It is a near certainty that there won’t be enough (natural) snow for the ski areas to open before the Thanksgiving weekend. Our computer models have been consistently indicating a very dry pattern for the foreseeable future. In fact, one computer model I just looked at had no significant precipitation anywhere in the Northwest through December 4th! It seems that winter 2008-2009 is destined to be a slow-starter.

The news isn’t all bad, however. Looking back at past winters, rarely, if ever, does the month of November characterize the entire winter. Often, the opposite is true. So just because November has been a bummer month weather-wise, it doesn’t mean that this winter will turn out poor overall. It just means that we must exercise a bit more patience than usual this fall.

For those who must get some turns in between now and when the storms return, don’t forget that Timberline Lodge ski area plans to operate its Palmer Express lift daily, weather permitting. The Snowfield is in great shape. Elsewhere, there’s a chance that areas with some snowmaking guns might be able to coat a run or two with a minimal snow base for the holiday weekend… but it’ll be tough. Be sure to check the conditions page at SkiOregon.org to see the status of each Oregon ski area… especially as the weekend draws near.

Think snow!

-Drew

Editor’s Note: Drew Jackson is the consulting meteorologist, forecaster and weather broadcast producer for FOX 12. He’s also an avid skier and our newest blogger. For the latest Oregon snow conditions, sign up for Drew’s “Powder Alert” at SkiOregon.org.

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