**Update: WINTER STORM WATCH issued – see bottom of this post.**
Quick update to NOAA’s snow forecast below. Their outlook is now calling for massive snow accumulation of **at least 98 inches to well over 100 inches** (along with high winds) on Mt. Rainier at glacier levels (>7500 ft) by Monday a.m. But wait, this is NOT a call to action. In fact, we think it’d be safer to sit this one out for better viz and the snow to stabilize. We write about this because this weather’s about to trickle down to our ski areas. Surely, this gets everyone excited, especially our neighboring states with higher base elevation resorts.
Mt. Rainier >7500ft
As for us in WA, snow levels are forecast to fall to below 5000 ft starting tomorrow night so not only will the Paradise parking lot get snow but many of our local mountain passes and ski areas.
Mt. Rainier >below Paradise parking lot
Below is the forecast for Stevens Pass which reads similarly for other western WA’s ski areas at about this elevation. We hope this weather pattern repeats itself enough for WA ski areas to pin down opening dates. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the snow safety classes at NWAC and ProGuiding. Live to ski another day!
WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE SAT. NIGHT THROUGH MON. MORNING…
* SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS…MOUNT BAKER…HURRICANE RIDGE…PARADISE RANGER STATION…STEVENS PASS…WHITE PASS.
* TIMING…PRECIPITATION WILL TURN FROM RAIN TO SNOW IN THE MOUNTAINS ABOVE ABOUT 4000 FT LATE SAT. NIGHT AS COLDER AIR ALOFT MOVES INTO THE REGION. SNOW SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY MON. MORNING.
* SNOW LEVEL…5000 FEET LATE SAT. NIGHT FALLING TO 4000 FEET SUN. INTO MON.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…4 TO 7 INCHES ON SUN. WITH ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES SUN. NIGHT INTO MON. MORNING ARE POSSIBLE.
* MAIN IMPACT…THIS WILL BE THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON FOR THE HIGHER WASHINGTON PASSES.