December 05, 2008

Weekend Weather

Another dry day. This morning this were some very nice lenticular or mountain wave clouds over and downstream of Mt. Rainier. I grabbed a poor image of them from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency visibility web cam (see to the right). This cam is there to help document variations in horizontal visibility of the region--you can see it at: We have an inversion over us right now...with temps at 2000-2500 ft about 10F warmer at the surface. There was a wide range of temperatures at sunrise...from the mid40s near the water to just below freezing in the hinterlands.
Tomorrow will start off dry, but a weak front will approach during the afternoon. So increasingly clouds and some showers late in the day and tomorrow evening. Seattle will not get much due to rainshadowing off the Olympics. Sunday a weak trough will move through with some more showers in mountains and an active Puget Sound convergence zone north of Seattle.
Monday looks dry as another ridge moves in. Looking further afield...a warm front should move in on Tuesday with some rain...but temps will incease sufficiently to leave snow only at the highest elevations in the Cascades.
I can't believe it...but another major ridge of high pressure latter in the week. I would be nervous if I was running a low-elevation ski area now....


  1. I saw those lenticular clouds over Ranier this morning and thought of your blog and wondered whether you'd mention it. At one point there were 4 or 5 stacked on top of each other, with the sun a little higher and to the left of the mountain providing a little bit of a backlight. It looked pretty cool. I wished I had my camera.

  2. I would be nervous too... Snotel's indicate precip is 84-99% of average in westside basins this winter season while snowpack is about 15%. Thus, it is not dryness primarily that has been the issue. It is warm temps during the ppt events. Even at 7000 feet on Baker snowpack is minor.

  3. What are you predicting for a ski season? What do you expect based on long range forecasts for Washington and British Columbia? I'm getting nervous too. Usually there's some snow in the mountains by now and the last few years they've been open in December. Thoughts?

  4. Well is too soon to be sure...a few storms can have a huge effect.... but right now is snowpack is between 2 and 25% of normal...and things don't look very good for the next week...No reason to expect that whole season will be bad...unless something we don't understand is producing this consistent ridging...cliff mass


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