Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mt. Rainier Weather

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
12:23 P.M.

Mt. Rainier is one of the most prominent peaks in the world, and it is certainly the most prominent one in the contiguous United States. Because it is so prominent, it can influence clouds, rainfall, snowfall, and even sunlight for miles.

Mt. Rainier gets some especially interesting cloud formations. Take a look at the picture below.  

Photo credit: Tim Thompson - December 2008

Don't worry, this is not an alien invasion. Here, we see several lenticular clouds!

Lenticular clouds are fascinating meteorological phenomena that occur when moist air flows against terrain and condenses into water droplets. Mt. Rainier is a huge obstacle to air, so it often creates these clouds if the air is moist and there is sufficient upslope flow. These clouds are often precursors to rain, so if you see these clouds, be on the lookout for rain in the coming days!

Mt. Rainier is also the most heavily glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S., and gets tremendous amounts of snowfall. Paradise, on the windward side of Mt. Rainier, can get particularly snowy. It averages over 53 feet of snow each year, and some years, the average snowfall reaches over 90 feet! Check out the historical snowfall data for Paradise below.

Of course, it snows when it is cold outside, but when it rains on Mt. Rainier, it pours. Mt. Rainier was particularly hard hit in November of 2006, when places of the national park surrounding the mountain received 18 inches of rain in 36 hours. Here are some photos below. These are all taken from the National Park Service.

Pretty incredible stuff!

But the main reason I decided to write this blog post today was because I saw some pictures of an amazing shadow Mt. Rainier cast during sunrise. We get these shadows during the autumn and winter when the sun is positioned directly behind the mountain for somewhere in Puget Sound. We don't get these shadows in our area in the summer because the sun is too far north to cast a shadow in the Puget Sound area.

From KOMO "YouNews" contributor "ddlippert"

From KOMO "YouNews" contributor Susan Aaron 

From KOMO "YouNews" contributor "JPuyallup"

The coolest part? All these photos were taken this morning.

Thanks for reading, and have a nice day!


  1. I'm doing a project on rainier, and i NEED pictures. Can this darn site help ME?

  2. hey you dont go back on here it stinks. BYE, YOU WEIRD person who doesnt listen to any one and strange person who tells personal stuff!

  3. i didnt tell personal stuff. Dont comment back or this is gonna get ****ing ugly! now stay off this WONDERFUL site or your dumb ***'s gonna get whooped and your momma gonna be very ****ing mad at your sorry *ss!

  4. Whoever commented previously,needs a serious mental health evaluation.