Happy June -- now, go throw a snowball

Happy June -- now, go throw a snowball »Play Video
View from Paradise area of Mt. Rainier (elevation 5,500 feet) taken Friday morning. Photo courtesy Dept. of Natural Resources Web Camera (www.nature.nps.gov.)
SEATTLE -- It should be surprising, but it's probably not considering the spring so far...

Snow is expected to fall Friday in the Cascades -- low enough to even perhaps accumulate a few inches on some of our higher mountain passes such as Stevens, Chinook, Washington, and the roads to Paradise lodge and Hurricane Ridge.

Early Friday morning, the temperature was a very chilly 29 degrees at Paradise Ranger Station and Mt. Rainier's Camp Muir was at an amazing 13 degrees. Not the time to be trying to summit the mountain.

It's also not a good time to just be generally hiking or backpacking in the backcountry. We are expecting as much as 6-12 inches of new snow as low as 5,500 feet.

That will create high avalanche danger and hazardous conditions for climbers or hikers. I know many people planning hiking trips in June are not thinking cold weather and 2 feet of snow would be a problem, so please factor this into any plans. It's more like March conditions up there than June.

This unseasonably cold weather is expected to continue through most of next week, with another shot of heavy mountain snow down to similarly-low levels possible Monday into Tuesday.

In the lowlands, it's still early in the month, but with the first 1/6th of the month in the books, we are on pace to shatter records for coolest June on record as average high temperatures are running 5-6 degrees below normal.