The snow took a little vacation in the Pacific NW this past week with only a few inches of snow falling in past couple of days. That was change from the feet of snow falling in January. The Pacific NW has picked up the most snow in the country so far this season with the Cascades picking anywhere from 200-300 inches so far. That is expected during a La Nina season and the snow will pick up again this week and most likely into next week adding a couple feet of fresh snow.
The storms coming this week will pale in comparison to what we saw last month. This won’t be the jet stream undercutting the North Pacific ridge and taking a direct shot at the West coast while pulling in some subtropical moisture. The ridge will be in the East Pacific not that far off the coast and the storms will have to go up into the Gulf of Alaska and down the West Coast which is a drier path. Still they will be able bring several inches each and storm after storm over the next 2 weeks should bring several feet to the Cascades.
Here is the fantasy forecast from the NWS that will be a reality for Mt. Baker this week.
The precipitation is already moving in tonight with snow levels just above 4000 ft. in Washington. The snow will fall above that on Friday and then the snow levels will come down to 3000 ft. on Saturday. Over the 2 day period we should see 6-12 inches of snow above 4000 ft. for Mt. Baker, The Summit at Snoqualmie, and Mt. Hood with 3-6 inches down to Mt. Bachelor.
There will be a break on Sunday before the next system moves in on Monday. This storm will be weaker for the Pacific NW and will focus more of the snowfall down towards Tahoe. We should see a few inches in Northern Washington with 3-6 inches down through Oregon. Then two more weak storms Tuesday night and again Thursday. These storms look like they could bring snow in the 3-6 inch range as well to the Cascades. These will be colder storms with lower snow levels.
Here is the total precipitation off the GFS model through next Thursday showing 1-2 inches of total liquid through most of the Cascades. The snowfall forecast could fluctuate as we get closer to the storms but a general 9-18 inches next week on top of the 6-12 this weekend should mean 1-2+ feet over the next 7 days. And for the readers in Tahoe that does show 6-12 inches over the week.
As we go into next weekend and the following week the long-range models suggest that some bigger storms could begin to move in. The trend is still for a storm every other day or so with no end in sight through the end of the month. That could change but it looks like the ridge will stay off the coast keeping the storm door open. We could see several more feet pile up in the Cascades the second half of the month. BA