Meadows Blog

Winter Forecast - Early Start - Big January!

Hi Folks!

There’s good news for skiers and snowboarders in the winter forecast. The Oregon chapter of the American Meteorological Society held its 17th Annual Winter Weather Meeting Saturday at OMSI. This is the event where meteorologists and climatologists predict what the winter will bring to the Northwest. They examine patterns of indicators like changing pacific ocean temperatures or sun spots. They find similar patterns from past seasons, and then make a forecast based on that information.

Last year they pretty much agreed we’d be skiing before Thanksgiving. Oops.

So keep in mind, this is science, but it is far from exact. It’s speculation – but these are the experts and here’s what they think this winter will bring (Play the Video):


George Taylor – former state climatologist, see’s an early start to the winter, which should be near average in snow.
Pete Parsons Meteorologist for the Oregon Department of Agriculture expects a near average winter, with the possibility of big snows in January.
The most optimistic skier forecast came from Kyle Dittmer a Hydrologist – Meterologist for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. He thinks the year will bring above average snowfall – particularly December through February.

For more details you can download the individual presentations from the AMS website. We want to thank George, Pete and Kyle for sharing their forecasts with us and please – no nasty emails to them, OK?

So you’ve heard from some of the experts – it’s time for you to weigh in on what you think winter will bring to Mt. Hood this season. Let’s have some fun here – take a guess on the following:

  • What day will Meadows open for the season, and what will the snowpack measured at the telemetry at the bottom of Mt. Hood Express be?
  • How much snow do you think we’ll get total this season at Meadows – remembering that we set a record of 780 inches last year, well above our average of 430 inches.

We look forward to hearing from you, and, based on what the expert forecasters say, we will see you on the mountain soon!


Meadows Team


  1. chris

    October 19, 2009

    El Nino winters have never been a good deal. There may be increased early moisture... higher temps as well. Then the rest of the season will be terrible ~ warmer temps, less moisture.

    Can you point to one El Nino season you'd rather repeat? La Nina winters on the other hand, are awesome (last two seasons). NOAA ENSO El Nino forecast group gives you a better idea for this coming winter vice the local guys.


    Give your patrons some credit Meadows. We are not dumb and don't buy B.S. Have a good one.

    Meadows reply:
    Cheer up chris - this will all be behind us that first day enjoying the fresh early season snow that Mt. Hood serves up and delivers. Okay - what's this quote from: "Some people would say this glass is half full. Others say it's half empty. I'd say you're a half empty kind of guy" =0}

  2. Brian

    October 21, 2009

    I think we will be skiing Saturday, Nov. 21st, with 32" of snow at the base of MEX. Optimistic, but I'm a pint-half-full kind of guy.

  3. Heather Chapin

    October 21, 2009

    Opening day looks good for Nov. 27. Hopefully people will buy only lift tickets on BUY NOTHING DAY! Season pass holders of course still don't have to buy a thing. Get gas the night before. Be ready!
    Anyway the 20th just seems to close. Unless of course, we are talking about just opening Buttercup and Daisy. If that is all you mean than the twentieth looks good.
    I say by the 20th we have 17 inches at the base of MHX.
    By the real opening day on the 27th....32 inches at the base of MHX.

    For the season I say we end up with 444 inches.....just one storm above average. I also think March and April are going to be way warm.Whatever is in store.....
    Bring it on!

  4. k2skier

    October 22, 2009

    My prediction for 2009-2010 season is for a November 27th opening with 27" at the base with a total snowfall of 380"-400".

  5. ken

    October 22, 2009

    I think it is unrealistic to forecast weather months in advance. Any more than a 3 day forecast is a guess. That being said if I make plans to go out of town you can be sure it will snow at Meadows. Seems to work every time.

  6. Ohlaph

    October 22, 2009

    You can never tell what the weather WILL do in Oregon, so grab your Meadows nachos and sit back and enjoy the show...

    I will see you on opening day!

    The Ohlaph

  7. Ohlaph

    October 22, 2009

    Hi again, where did you guys move the annual snowfall report to? I know there used to be a page that listed the daily snowfall for the past three seasons... Please don't tell me you removed that page, it was just amazing to compare things and a lot of fun for committed guests!!!


    Meadows reply: We actually lost that last season. Let's talk to our web and data folks to see if we can get it back for this season.

  8. Chris

    October 23, 2009

    I really like how you killed off the burgeoning grass roots community we had on this board a couple years ago. Was always fun to come read everybody's comments, good bad or indifferent. Kept me in tune with Meadows, kept me coming to the site, and kept me thinking about wanting to be up on the mountain, which in turn motivated me to get up there as often as we could.

    Meadows reply:
    We're Baa-aaack! You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to. There's always good content.

    Of course the critisms were many, and apparently you didn't want that airing in public, so you forced registration, which pretty much killed the whole thing off, and the community more or less whithered and died off.

    I'm sure it left a great many of us just a little less interested, and a little less motivated.

  9. Drew

    October 29, 2009

    How 'bout the early 16-20 or so inches up on the hill already!
    Let's pray it keeps coming!

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