snowpack

Weather with Cliff Mass
10:07 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Mass: Chances Of Snow This Weekend, But Don't Bet The House On It

Don't bet your cat on it, either.
Shannon Kringen Flickr via Compfight

The weekend forecast includes chances of snow, but nothing's for certain, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"This is a hard one," said Mass. “There’s a lot of uncertainty here. I’ll tell you that right in the beginning.”

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:35 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Hold On Tight To Your Valentine: Wet, Windy Weekend Ahead

This photo shows Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend, Wash. on Feb. 8, 2014.
Jim Stiles

We’re getting the “weather we need,” so get ready for a wet and windy weekend, says KPLU expert Cliff Mass.

“Our water supply was well below normal,” said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. “Very rapidly, the snowpack is getting replenished in the mountains. The reservoirs are filling. And by the end of this week, I don’t think we’ll have to worry water for this summer or the coming fall.”

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Snowpack
2:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Year Starts With Wash. Snowpack At 45 Percent

Mount Rainier is seen in this photo taken Wednesday, June 19, 2013,
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

A dry start to winter has left the snowpack in Washington far short of normal.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's snow survey office in Mount Vernon says as of Jan. 1, snowpack readings were 45 percent of normal for that time of year.

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Snow Science
5:01 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Strange Snow Finding Suggests Fewer Trees Mean More Water

UW reserahcres found that in temperate climates, snow melts faster under trees than in clearings.
Kael Martin University of Washington

Quick quiz: In springtime, does snow melt faster out in the open or in the shade? 

You might figure it melts faster in the sunshine, and that seems to be the case for cold climates. But in places with temperate winters, like the Pacific Northwest, it might be just the opposite.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:08 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Rain, followed by rain, and some deep mountain snow

At least three or four more days of rainstorms are headed to the northwest. They'll cycle through approximately every 18 hours, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

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Mountain passes
9:09 am
Sun May 6, 2012

State struggles to open some mountain passes due to snow

A spring snowstorm on Cayuse Pass (SR 123) dumped more than a half-foot of snow on the highway. Crews hoped to open the pass on Friday (May 4), but with snow predicted through the weekend, they've had to push it back.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Fresh snow in the mountains has slightly delayed the reopening of one high mountain pass in the Washington Cascades. Highway crews are on track to reopen two other scenic cross state routes before Memorial Day.

What's slowing them down? The snowpack is deeper than average for this time of year in Washington, north Idaho and the northern Oregon Cascades.

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Hydropower
1:20 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

More snowpack means more electricity this summer

Seattle City Light's Diablo Dam on the Skagit River. 7/22/2001
Flickr user Hunda flickr.com

The Pacific Northwest has emerged from winter with an above average snowpack, and that's good news for the region's hydroelectric dams. Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco says, “The snowfall we have received in the mountains this winter was fantastic.”

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