Why Does It Snow More In The Mountains?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Derya wondered why there's always so much snow in the mountains during the wintertime, but Seattle hardly gets any?

If you've ever taken a trip up into the mountains, you've likely noticed that it's cooler up there. That's because in the lower part of the atmosphere, the temperature drops as you go higher in altitude. On a rainy day in Seattle, the temperature drops roughly 2.5 degrees per 1,000 feet of altitude. That means when it's 40 degrees here in Seattle, it'll be in the low 30s in the mountain passes -- cold enough to snow.

Now, there's other factors involved in helping ski resorts pile up the snow -- sometimes colder air filters over the mountains from Eastern Washington. Also, strong downward winds from heavy showers can actually bring down colder air with them, dropping the temperature a few more degrees.

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YouNews AR2192 - final images AR2192 - final images
Sunspot AR2192 is disappearing from view as it nears the edge of the sun. This is a series of images of the sunspot taken at 2 day intervals starting on October 19th and ending on Monday, October 27th. There are two images for October 23rd (to include the solar eclipse view).