Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Washington Cascade Winter Update

Issued Tuesday 12-9-08

Washington Cascade Winter Update

The ridge of high pressure that has been over the Northwest over the last several weeks has been steering the heaviest snowfall well to the north of the region. Also during the prior weeks temperatures have been above average. This combination of events has brought snowfall significantly below normal in all locations of the Washington Cascades.

However, the weather patterns will change starting this Friday (12-12-08) as a strong trough of low pressure and the associated cold front drops down from the northwest to bring some mountain snow later this Friday and into Saturday. The cold air will remain in place through 12-24-08 so any weather systems that move in will bring snowfall at the 3000 feet and above levels. So the bottom line is the extended forecast for the Northwest is indicating above average precipitation and below average temperatures through at least 12-24-08. It take time to bring the snowpack up but this will be a great trend. The map below is the 500 mb (at about 18,000 foot level) and shows conditions on Thursday 12-18-08. This would bring some very cold temperatures to the Northwest.

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