Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Late-Season Snow

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
1:01 P.M.

Now, I know this isn't the most glamorous picture, but take a look at how snowy it is up there at Alpental! The mountains ave seen a TON of snow recently, and this trend looks to continue into the foreseeable future.

Why so much snow?

The answer, my friends, is La Nina.

La Nina generally spells colder, wetter, and snowier weather for the Pacific Northwest, but up until our first big snowstorm in January, that wasn't the case. Although the lowland snow during January was fun, it was pretty late for the first snow of the season here in Seattle, and before that, the mountains were below-average for snowfall. La Nina is supposed to bring gobs of snow to the mountains, but that wasn't happening. Why were we lacking snowfall then, and why are we getting snowfall now, even though the La Nina is actually weakening by now?

SST anomalies in the tropical Pacific up to this past week

La Nina's effects are generally felt in full-force after January first, but for the last two years, it has been felt much later. This year is beginning to resemble last year in a so-so winter for snow but a very snowy spring. And yes, I know it isn't officially spring yet, but the "meteorological winter" lasts from mid-November to mid-February, and we are definitely transitioning out of it.

I'm forecasting a well-above average total spring snowfall in the mountains this year, and I'm also feeling like we'll get a cold spring. Don't put your skis away yet!

Gotta go, office appointment calls!

1 comment:

  1. Charlie -
    I'm really enjoying your posts and I think you are developing a really nice 'voice' and style. Keep at it! I'm impressed!