Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Transition To More Seasonable Weather

We've been so hot recently, many of us (including myself) have forgotten that it is only April. Although mountain snow at Snoqualmie Pass becomes increasingly hard to come by after mid-April, it is still relatively common, and we can even have snow there into May. Of course, when you get to 89 degrees in Seattle like we did on Monday, it's hard to imagine how this month could feature snow at the top of Mt. Rainier, let alone the major passes. We usually see around 27 inches of snow in the month of April at Snoqualmie, but this month, we've only seen one inch. Sometimes we see much more; the winter of 2010-2011 saw 84 inches of snow in the month of April there, more than both January and February. You can find snowfall totals back to 1950 for Snoqualmie Pass here.

video

My skiing friend and teaching buddy Tessa Harvey headed up to Alpental today and took this video. Amazingly, there is still quite a bit of snow up there, though it is quite patchy. Remember, it takes energy for snow to melt, meaning it cools the air around it as it melts. This acts to slow melting and let us hold on to our precious snowpack for a little bit longer. Still, our snowpack, which was normal just a couple weeks ago, has taken a beating so far this April.

Credit: National Water and Climate Center

Looking ahead, we should cool down for the foreseeable future as we return to a more traditional onshore flow. We should still be slightly warmer than normal, but the days in the 80s look like they are past us... for now.

Credit: Climate Prediction Center

It sure was nice while we had it though! And we won't be cold by any means... we'll be up near 70 with mostly sunny skies by the end of next week. It sure took us a while to get to drier and warmer weather, but we're here now, and we aren't looking back.

Thanks for reading,
Charlie

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