We've yet to turn the page on the wet fall and start the winter snowfall in earnest, so we have delayed launching into daily forecasts for now. A bit of snow today at mid and upper elevations brought about 6-8" new. It shouldn't make much of a difference once we hit the work week, as a series of warm and wet systems are slated to once again, bring heavy rain at high freezing levels.
While the winter weather has stalled, there has been no shortage of work for the NWAC forecasters, as it seems one after another of our forty five or so weather stations have developed unseasonable maladies. Too many specifics to discuss here, but it has been an unusual bout this fall, and we have a ways to go to set things right. We've made many field trips with more scheduled, as well as working closely with our team of cooperators from ski area to WSDOT folks to get the troubles sorted. Our weather stations remain a key component to our forecasting ability as well as providing invaluable real-time and historical data to help plan safe trips and we're committed to doing the best we can to maintain a high quality and reliable network.
We have also been in the office tracking the weather and providing daily verbal forecasts to our cooperators as they plan and prepare for ski area openings and highway pass operations.
We usually start daily forecasts about the time ski areas open and there begins to be an avalanche concern to the highways at Stevens and Snoqualmie passes. That has been certainly later than normal this year, but it only takes a strong storm track pattern to develop and we can be there in a few days. In the mean time, we'll keep you posted as to our doings and continue our prep for a winter that will hopefully make up for a late start.
Here's a shot taken by NWAC observer, Dallas Glass, showing just how dismal the conditions were above Paradise on Mt Rainier earlier this week. Lots of thin, wind scoured surfaces.