Skiers and snowboarders are bracing for what could possibly be the first fairly decent snowfall of the winter season, as snow levels are expected to drop in the coming days around western Washington 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, which is at 5,400 foot elevation.
Resort officials are preparing for a Thanksgiving Day (U.S.) opening.
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 Saturday, when 6 inches is forecast although the freezing will shoot up to almost 5,000 feet.
At Washington ski areas, record-setting warm 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.
The ski area posted this video from Sunday.
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, White Pass and Stevens Pass should benefit from this upcoming colder weather pattern.