November 25, 2015

Snow Expands over the Northwest and Strong WInds

For those planning your Thanksgiving travels and recreation, the distribution of snow is of some interest.    Here are the snow depth maps for November 15, 20, and 25th.   A major increase in the extent and depth of snow over our region during those ten days.   Lots of snow in the north Cascades and a substantial extension of snow east of the Cascade crest.

The Methow Valley (Winthrop/Mazama) has enough snow for cross country skiing (see Sun Mountain Lodge Cam).

and snow has deepened as well at Paradise, Mt Rainier

and a number of downhill ski areas have opened in BC and on the higher volcanic peaks here in the NW.

On a more sobering note, El Nino has further strengthened (see NOAA Climate Prediction Center info below), with the sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies from climatology further increasing.

We often get decent snow in November during El Nino years, but by New Years,the warming effects of El Nino become more profound.  So get out there while you can!

Finally, the Fraser outflow winds really hit the San Juans and the west Sound areas hard yesterday, with gusts to 50-60 mph over North Kitsap, Lopez and Bainbridge Is. at exposed locations.  Here is the max winds over the past 24 h.  A huge contrast between locations east and west of the Sound.  Light winds in the eastern Seattle suburbs, but strong winds on the Sound and towards the Olympics. And the area north of Bellingham was savaged by gusty winds.

Enjoy Thanksgiving weekend.  No precipitation (guaranteed), sunny, with little clouds.  High temps during the day in the mid-40s over the lowlands.  A tonic against Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


  1. Unseasonable Sandra: Hurricane Threat for Mexico, Torrential Rain in Southern Plains

    Even though it’s late November, conditions are unusually supportive for Sandra to continue intensifying into a major hurricane. A small eye has become evident on satellite imagery over the last few hours, with a compact zone of intense convection around it. Sea surface temperatures are at record highs for the time of year (29-30°C, or 84-86°F), and there is plenty of oceanic heat content below the surface

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  2. Always fascinating watching winter weather patterns develop. Even though we missed out on lowland snow, friends from Bend sent pics with almost a foot of snow on their deck! I am sure there is going to be some below zero readings in Eastern Oregon the next couple nights. Wondering if this El Nino being so strong will have more pronounced effects on our weather. Interesting to note, the winter of 68/69 was a moderate El Nino winter, yet ended up as one of the coldest, snowiest January's on record for the N.W. In the meantime, absolutely love the sunny, cool days that are upon us! Sure beats the nasty, foggy ridges we often get this time of year.

  3. Cliff one thing you didn't mention is the overlapping of content on KPLU Seattle needs a Jazz station! I just see 88.5 as a 9.49 repeat station. Yeah I didn't listen all the time but it seems there was alot of repeated stuff between the two stations. Anywhoos I do think we need more weather related equipment all over our state. Keep up the good work!

  4. An Unprecedented Thanksgiving Visitor: a Category 4 Hurricane

    Remarkable Hurricane Sandra exploded into a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds overnight, making it the latest major hurricane ever observed in the Western Hemisphere (November 26.) The previous record was held by an unnamed Atlantic hurricane in 1934 that held on to Category 3 status until 00 UTC November 24.
    Sandra is also now the latest Category 4 storm ever observed in either the Eastern Pacific (previous record: Hurricane Kenneth on November 22, 2011) or the Atlantic (previous record: "Wrong Way" Lenny on November 18, 1999.) Prior to Sandra, the strongest East Pacific hurricane so late in the year was 1983’s Winnie, which topped out on December 6 at 90 mph winds. Sandra is the first major hurricane in the Western Hemisphere that has ever been observed on Thanksgiving Day. According to WU contributor Phil Klotzbach (Colorado State University), Sandra is on track to become the latest landfalling tropical cyclone on record for Mexico, beating out Tara (Nov. 12, 1961). An Air Force Hurricane Hunter mission is scheduled for Sandra on Friday afternoon.

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