Seattle Times says: Despite dry weather, La Niña winter coming

Despite Seattle getting 20% less rainfall last month than a normal November, the forecasters assure us that the cold, wet La Niña winter is still coming…

“We’re expecting enhanced chances of below-normal temperatures and above-average precipitation over the next three months” in the Northwest, said Jon Gottschalck of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md.

Read the rest of the article.

King 5 Feature: Beyond the Forecast: Northwest Snow

For the snow geeks out there check out this 20 minute feature on King 5, Watch ‘Beyond the Forecast: Northwest Snow’:

Chief Meteorologist Jeff Renner hops into a plane to help explain how snowflakes form, showing you the conditions that come together to produce snow. We also tag along with snow plow drivers on I-90 as they try to keep the pass clear, and head into the backcountry to see how experts predict and control avalanches.

Plus, see what it’s like to spend the night in a snow cave on Mount Rainier, as we learn how animals survive the deep freeze.

Friday Snow Totals, Crystal Opening Too?

The Seattle Times has a roundup of recent snowfall activity, Storm soaks area as skiers cheer snow forecast:

Mount Baker: “at least a foot”
Snoqualmie Pass: “several inches”
Stevens Pass: “several inches”
Crystal Mountain: “several inches”

But the big news is that Crystal is also considering opening this coming week:

Crystal Mountain ski area also was considering an opening day late next week if enough snow falls from a series of cold fronts expected over the next several days.

And the National Weather Service thinks that Larry is little bullish on his predictions:

Schick, a part-time weather forecaster, predicted at least 2 to 3 feet — and possibly up to 5 feet — in the Cascades over the next 7 to 10 days.

Mike McFarland, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said that might be on the high side, but he confirmed plenty of snow was on its way. A series of cold fronts are moving in, and the one expected to arrive Wednesday could dump enough snow for some ski areas to open, he said.

Snow Is Here! 12″ at Baker

King5 has video and pics of snow in the mountains overnight, Snow falls in Washington’s Cascade mountains:

Mount Baker had one foot of snow fall overnight, Stevens Pass had about 2 inches, Snoqualmie Pass a trace to one inch, and Mount Rainier at Paradise about 6 to 8 inches.

Komo has a different take, Snow falls on Washington’s Cascade passes:

About five inches of snow fell at Stevens and White passes, which quickly melted or turned to slush on the roadway.

Wish this snow would have come last weekend for the completion of my turns-all-year quest!

Update: Some footage of the snow.



Storm Warning! 3-5″ above 4,000 ft

It certainly is raining here in Seattle so it is good to hear from King5, First snow to hit Cascades tonight:

Forecasters have issued the first winter storm warning of the season for the Northern Cascades.
The warning extends from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday. The brunt of the snowfall is on track to move in Wednesday night, dropping 3 to 5 inches of snow on the upper reaches of the North Cascades, above 4,000 feet.

The elevation of Snoqualmie Pass is 3,022 feet, which means drivers on Interstate 90 could see a few snowflakes.

Seattle Times: It Could Be a Winter For Skiers to Love

Yesterday the Seattle Times broke it down for us with a very simple graphic in their article, It could be a winter for skiers to love:

My skis are in the shop getting tuned. Can’t wait!

[Accuweather] said precipitation is likely to be above normal in the Seattle and Portland areas in December, and then ease back closer to normal levels in January.

The big story of the winter – heavy snowfall ­– could hit in February and last into early March, said Ken Clark,’s Western U.S. expert. Although overall precipitation during that period may not be above normal, more of it is expected to fall as snow, as frigid conditions spread from the Pacific Coast to the Rocky Mountains.