February 04, 2022

Freezing Rain--Why and Where Does It Occur? And A Dry Week Ahead for the Northwest.

 The headlines today talk about the threat of freezing rain along the East Coast.

But the Pacific Northwest is no slacker in the freezing rain department!  We have world-class freezing rain in the Columbia Gorge, Northwest Washington around Whatcom County, and particularly in the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington.

As noted in my previous blog, freezing fog is often experienced in the Columbia Basin as well.   A map of freezing rain frequency across the U.S. shows that eastern Washington is a major player (below).  The eastern U.S. get freezing rain when fronts are positioned over the Northeast or Midwest, with cold air to the north.  This is the situation occurring today.

My podcast today describes how and why freezing rain exists.....and describes the weird situation of liquid water occurring under subfreezing temperatures.

And my podcast also describes the uber-dry conditions of the next week...and even the potential for some sun!

To listen to my podcast,  use the link below or access it through your favorite podcast service.

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  1. The closest we got here for freezing rain if memory was correct was the week in January 2012 when we, in Puget Sound had a trifecta of snow, freezing rain and an ice storm in about 10 days. I recall seeing one story on TV at the time of the damaged over on Hwy 18 or in that area anyway due to fallen trees and what not.

    I don't recall if Seattle or Tacoma for either the freezing rain or the ice, but we did get the snow. I don't recall the amounts, but we dot some I remember that much.

  2. no scarier driving conditions than freezing rain / fog, imo!

    1. As Cliff has said in the past, the most dangerous natural phenomena we see around here is not earthquake, volcano, tsunami, or flood, it's ice.

  3. Its starting to look like an early spring, 61 deg in N Bend tomorrow, any predictions Cliff? Punxsutawney Phil reckons we're in for 6 more weeks of winter but I don't know where he gets his data :) Noaa is going for cooler/wetter post Feb 19th but not sure how accurate these are.

  4. I don't know if its too important to note, but the fog right now is very dense, in bellevue. I can't see just 1 block away! Densest I've ever seen it.


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