Tuesday brought the first snowfall of the season to Timberline Lodge. At times, trees and cars had a dusting of snow. Of course seeing a snow shower in late September at 6,000 feet is not unusual. In fact, KGW's Tuesday evening live report was meant to be a wake-up call that mountain travel will be getting icy at times in the weeks ahead. (The photo above is Timberline Lodge on Dec. 24th, 2012.)
October snow showers are commonplace over the high country. The weeks ahead may drop several inches of snow at times that will quickly come and quickly melt. Snow records show the Cascade snow pack typically begins to build anywhere from the last week of October to the mid-November. Of course having the two-three feet of snow needed for ski resorts can take until December.
Last year's full opening date for Timberline and Meadows was November 22nd. Here’s a list of opening days at Timberline's ski resort over the past 5 years:
2012: Nov. 22nd
2011: Nov. 17th
2010: Oct. 28th
2009: Nov. 7th
2008: Dec. 20th
2007: Nov. 20th.
Keep in mind; the above dates represent mostly limited openings. Consistent full operations are more likely to take place closer to December 1st. Skibowl, due to its lower elevation, near 4,000 feet, often opens weeks after the higher resorts of Meadows and Timberline.
KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill