Some Light Snowfall to Affect the Pacific NW Every Few Days

Some Light Snowfall to Affect the Pacific NW Every Few Days


Some Light Snowfall to Affect the Pacific NW Every Few Days


We are still waiting for the La Nina storm train to arrive in the Pacific NW.  It’s only a matter of time before it does.  The trough of low pressure has been centered over the Aluetian Islands and Souther Alaska for the past few weeks.  That brings snow to Alaska and into Western Canada as the jetstream comes under the low.  As we move into Winter next week we will watch for the center of low pressure to setup further South and East into the Northest Pacific pushing the jet stream further South down the coast into the Pacific NW.

Until that happens the ridge off the coast will continue to try and keep the storms to the North.  Over the course of the next week the pattern will be progressive with the ridge shift East and quickly being replaced by another ridge.  The storms want to push in so any opening between the ridges forming off the coast they will try to sneak in.  We will see that happen a few times over the next 10 days or so.

The first storm is moved in last night bringing a few inches of light snow to Washington and Oregon.  The snowpack has become especially absent in Oregon.  Here is the snowcover map as of yesterday before the storm.

And then here is the snow cover map for Friday after the storm is gone.

It’s not very much just a few inches for Mt. Baker and Mt. Hood and other mountains in the Northern Cascades.  There is another fast moving storm that will clip Northern Washington on Sunday.  It will barely come far enough South to clip Mt Baker with a few inches of snow.  There is another storm that will come further South around next Wednesday.  It looks like a little bit stronger storm that could bring several inches to mountains of washington and Oregon.

The forecast models show that another storm could arrive on Friday and then on Christmas bringing several more inches.  As you can see the pattern is starting to go more towards consistent storms next week, but these are storms bringing snow in inches not feet.  The long-range models are suggesting that the jet stream shifts further South the week after Christmas flattening the ridge as low pressure sets up in the Gulf of Alaska.  That would bring some bigger storms with a moisture tap back across the Pacific.

Here are three storms being shown by the GFS forecast model for that week.  The first is on the 27th.


Then the 29th…


and again on the 31st…


So right now it is looking like things will continue to improve as we head into the La Nina Winter next week and beyond.  We could see a quick recovery of the snowpack heading into the end of the year and January.  BA

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