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Final Powder Alert 2018-19 - Season recap and next year outlook

Most NW ski areas have closed. But Alpental is open this weekend so go for it, as Alp will close after Sunday. Late season NW skiing, after this weekend, can be found at Mt Hood Meadows, Timberline, Whistler and Mt Bachelor. I have skied all of these areas in late April and May and they are all good. I even had a full-on powder day at Mt. Bachelor five years ago on May 10, 2014, followed by a completely sunny warm day. Late season powder is possible but rare.

Season Recap.

Northwest ski areas had one of the slowest openings in years. The usually reliable early season snowfall in the NW didnt show up until mid-December. Natural snowfall was sparse and slow to develop. Crystal and Whistler were helped early in December by good snowmaking, but most other areas were snow challenged, with the storm track not delivering the goods to the Northwest. However, by the holiday season, the snowpack was much improved.

Seasonal snowfall in the Pacific NW this past season was generally below normal, with some areas near normal. That is just what the weak El Nino predicted for the NW. An interesting and surprising part of the winter was the sustained cold, with low snow levels in February, caused by a parade of storms coming from the north-northwest. That pattern not only created new snow but very high-quality snow day after day. The snow was very cold and dry, continental in nature, not like our typical mild maritime snowfall.

Its too early to tell what will happen next winter. Right now it looks like there might be a continuing weak El Nino. El Ninos can produce an occasionally difficult snowfall pattern for the NW. However, its possible a neutral pattern may develop, which is generally good for NW snowfall. Ill know more early next fall in September or October.

Thanks again to all our sponsors please support them. Tell them the Poobah sent ya!

Have a good summer. Well touch base again next fall

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Know before you go!


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