Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Well, not quite, but it's not lookin' good.

Also, this is where I piss off just about everyone east of the Mississippi, if not the Rockies...

Because, while they're lookin' a lot like Fimbulwinter, here in Pugetopolis the temperatures have been in the upper 50s and lower 60s, and the sky is blue, the sun is shinin'.

Yesterday a colleague was staring glumly at  "snow cams" of local ski resorts, which looked more like August than February.

Pacific Northwest Snowpack Near Lowest Levels on Record - weather.com (Video may auto-load.)

So, here's the concern, quoted from Weather.com:
Though an atmosopheric river of moisture soaked the Northwest and Northern California for several days at the start of February, significant snow was confined to the highest elevations due to mild temperatures. Therefore, the stormy weather pattern provided little help to the overall snowpack.

The snowpack is measured by how much water it would contain if it was melted down. In the West, the amount of water in the snowpack is more important than the depth since it helps replenish rivers, lakes and reservoirs when the spring melt arrives. Obervation stations known by the acronym SNOTEL are used to monitor the snowpack.
Emphasis added.
In the Oregon Cascades, the snow water content of the snowpack was less than 20 percent of average as of Feb. 9.
In Washington, snow water content ranged from 18 percent of average in the state's southern Cascade Mountains to 56 percent of average in the far northern part of the Cascades on Feb. 9. The Paradise SNOTEL (elevation 5,130 feet) on the southern slopes of Mount Rainier had its third lowest snow water content for Feb. 1 in records dating to 1981.

In the worst shape was the Olympic Mountains of northwest Washington, where snow water content was just seven percent of average.
Now, I know everyone's vision of Washington is that it rains nonstop. Players of Trivial Pursuit may be aware that New York City actually gets more rainfall annually than Seattle; while it does rain frequently here, it usually drizzles.

What we count on for our water supply supply is snow in the mountains. No snow, no municipal water supply.

New England can keep the damned sportsball trophy, just give us back our snow.

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