Announcement: The Northwest Weather Workshop will be on Feb 28th/March 1st in Seattle.
The NW Weather Workshop is the big annual gathering of those interested in the weather of the Pacific Northwest and everyone is welcome. For more information, including the agenda and registration information, please check out: https://www.atmos.washington.edu/pnww/
Snoqualmie Pass is closed. The road to Paradise (Mt. Rainier) is closed. The avalanche danger is great. Massive snows have hit the Washington Cascades.
Here are the webcams from Snoqualmie Pass and the visitor center at Paradise. As stated in Sharkado: "nuff said."
The present storm has dropped approximately two feet in the Washington Cascades...and it is not over yet. Take a look at the snow accumulation graphs (from the NW Avalanche Center) at Snoqualmie, Stevens, and Baker from Feb 8th to today (Feb. 17th). Over that period the snow depth has doubled at Snoqualmie and increased by about 50% at Stevens and Baker.
As mentioned above, the snow is not over. The latest visible satellite photo shows the mountains covered with clouds and a collection of instability showers moving in off the Pacific.
Winds are westerly aloft, which produces maximum uplift on the generally north-south oriented Washington Cascades. Paradoxically, such westerly flow produce precipitation shadowing to the lee (east) of the Olympics and Cascades as downslope flow causes drying and evaporation of clouds. So we are getting some filtered sunshine in Seattle while the mountains are getting hammered. And it is positively sunny in places in eastern Washington like Vantage (see image).
Here is the latest UW WRF forecast for snowfall over the next 48 hr. Another few feet in the Cascades, Coast Mountains of BC, and the Olympics.
We are on track to have a normal mountain snow pack by the end of the week!
Finally, so we get 2-3 feet of snow, with new snow totals of 3-8 feet this week, and we are being IGNORED by the Weather Channel. Now I love the WC, but isn't our snow as good as the snow back East? They get a foot and the WC has all kinds of dedicated coverage with Jim Cantore and others. We get 5 times more and are ignored. A minor snowstorm in the East gets a name (REX for the current one, see below), WE don't get a named storm, even if the end of the world occurs.