Dumping in the PNW | Mt. Baker with 12 Foot Base.

Dumping in the PNW | Mt. Baker with 12 Foot Base.

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Dumping in the PNW | Mt. Baker with 12 Foot Base.

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The snow has been falling over the Pacific NW for a few days now and it doesn’t look like there is an end in sight.  Mt. Baker has already picked up 57 inches this week and they now have a 12 foot base.  That was as of yesterday as the morning snow report hasn’t come out yet as of the time of this post.  If you aren’t there right now here is what it looks like.

The Summit at Snoqualmie has also picked up 51 inches so far with nearly a 10 foot base on top of Alpental.  The story continues down the cascades into Oregon where Mt. Hood has been picking it up in feet and Mt. Bachelor as well with over 3 feet so far and now 134 inches on the season.  The snow came down all night and will continue to dump today.

The ridge setting up over the Bering Sea has allowed the jet stream to have a straight shot across the Pacific and into the West coast.  The storms have been able to table some rich subtropical moisture and are now depositing that in the form of snow on the mountains.  We have another storm pushing in today and then another on tomorrow.  The snow levels may briefly rise with tomorrows storm but will drop quickly.  Even with that it looks like it stays all snow even down to snoqualmie pass level.

The storm for today will hit Oregon the hardest and then the Friday storm is much bigger and will extend further North into Washington.  Then over the weekend and into next week the jet stream shifts North a little and aims at the Pacific NW which will keep the heaviest snows into Washington and Oregon.  There is another storm moving in Sunday and again Tuesday.  The wave train looks to just keep coming over the next 2 weeks.  The only change is that as the ridge begins to build in the Eastern Pacific next week the storms will be coming up and over the ridge from the Northwest so they may not have as much moisture but they will be cold.

I’m not sure if there is a point in trying to forecast how much snow will fall each day over the next 2 weeks.  Let’s just say it will be more than enough.  Here is the map I could find with the highest precip scale of 16 inches of liquid in white.  You can see that most of Washington and Oregon surpass that on this GFS model by this time two weeks from now. That is 16 feet or more with the cold nature of most of the storms.  If this pans out as the models are forecasting some of the resorts could end up hitting 200 inches of snow for January.

There is still some question on the forecast models as to where the ridge is positioned at the end of the month.  Some have it close enough to maybe bring a break in precip the first week of February and others keep it far enough off the coast to keep the storms coming.  That is far away though and we have plenty of snow to deal with the last two weeks of the month here.  Will be interesting to talk totals in next weeks update.  BA

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