LEAVENWORTH, Wash. -- To say Stevens Pass ski resort got a little bit of snow this month is to say a few people showed up Downtown for the Seahawks Super Bowl Parade.
The ski resort said Thursday that so far this month, they have received 160 inches of snow -- over 13 feet! -- making it the second snowiest February in the last 50 years up there. It's been only upstaged by the epic winter of 1998-99 that had 226 inches at Stevens Pass in February and overall set the world record for seasonal snow at Mt. Baker.
We've been celebrating this week the return of our normal snowpack, but new forecast data out by long range climate computer models suggests the rally in snowpack may be even more important than you might think.
Fresh data released a few days ago is now suggesting there are significantly higher chances of a warmer and drier than normal spring and summer across the West, including the Pacific Northwest.
The sun finally broke out on Tuesday -- the first reasonably sunny day that wasn't about to feature a drenching rain storm that evening in over two weeks. After four consecutive months of below-normal temperatures and snowpack, February has made up for lost time.
Here are some interesting statistics from February as we start to head into March's lion:
As mentioned here earlier this week, the Washington Cascades made a tremendous rally in the past two weeks for our seasonal snowpack, stuck at 50-60 percent of normal as late as Feb. 7, only to now sit at 97-104 percent of normal!
California's snowpack was in much more dire straits than Washington at the same time -- around 10-20 percent of normal in early February.
The Golden State did get a few of the 10 or so mountain-snow storms that dumped 6-8 feet of snow in the Cascades this month, but only a handful gave them a direct hit. As of Feb. 24, the Sierras stand at 33-48 percent of normal.
Sitting at the first week of February, our mountain snowpack was running just 50-60 percent of normal. With just essentially 8 or so weeks left in the mountain snow season, it was akin to being down 4 runs in the 9th inning as far as hopes of getting our snowpack up to normal to provide us with our summer water.
But to borrow from the great late Dave Niehaus: Break out the rye bread and mustard, grandma, because we've essentially hit a grand salami.
Chocolate and flowers might be traditional Valentine's Day gifts, but Mother Nature gave a little treat to those up early enough to look out to their north over Puget Sound. And if you weren't up to see it, luckily it was caught on camera.
Greg Johnson of Skunkbayweather.com noticed this rather diffuse rainbow out his window Friday morning -- making it appear more like it was raining colors than a traditional rainbow: