Weather Blog

Surprise! Snowpack better than last year's

Surprise! Snowpack better than last year's
Web camera image from Crystal Mountain ski resort.

It's a trivia question sure to stump most skiers: Is there more or less snow up in the ski resorts this year than there was at this time last year? You'd think with 7 weeks of springlike weather in the heart of January and February, the mountains would be nearly bare, but while the snowpack is generally below average (averaging about 60-80% of normal), many sites are actually reporting more snow on the ground up there now than at this time last year.

The main difference why last year probably didn't seem so dire? We had a very cool late February and March that piled up quite a bit of snow "at the buzzer" and gave us a relatively normal year. This year, we'll have to see with El Nino still firmly entrenched and long range prospects of continued above normal temperatures.

CLIMATOLOGICAL SNOWDEPTH INFORMATION
NORTHWEST WEATHER AND AVALANCHE CENTER SEATTLE WASHINGTON
DAY 15 MONTH 2 YEAR 2010

DATA IN INCHES, -99 DENOTES MISSING DATA

CURRENT CLIMATE PER CENT LAST THRU 2009 THRU 2009
DEPTH AVERAGE OF NORMAL YEAR MAX/YEAR MIN/YEAR

HURRICANE 63 89 71 52 198/1999 17/2005
MT BAKER 122 138 88 87 244/1999 24/1977
STEVENS 75 95 79 62 166/1956 16/1977
SNOQUALMIE 58 86 67 49 168/1949 4/1977
STAMPEDE 51 93 55 65 202/1949 0/1977
MISSION 42 42 100 26 71/1999 9/1976
CRYSTAL 55 61 90 50 117/1999 0/1977
PARADISE 114 143 80 106 264/1972 24/1977
WHITE PASS 43 56 77 55 100/1999 0/1977
TIMBERLINE 101 130 78 113 230/2002 8/1977
MEADOWS 87 108 81 89 187/1974 4/1977