Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 5263 | TRs
|Folks should remember 2014-15 for talk of "The Blob", but also for the poorest winter for snowpack in NWAC records. There were numerous articles about the Blob returning in early September, and it is still there as of November 1st: The current Blob
Perhaps this explains the November weather to this point, and hopefully the current change in weather heralds a return to cold weather - but as yet not much snowfall. A personal observation is that in the past two decades or so, many winter snowpacks have been made by a single 3-6 week period of rather intense snowfall. That never happened in 2015.
Although the Cascades on shady slopes, primarily in the north and east have some high elevation snowpack, it is at this time far from normal for this date and most of that snow fell in two events in late September and the first week or so of October. South slopes, even in these areas have been largely bare, and the Olympics have no snowpack at all - 2-3" on shady slopes. I would also note how rare it is to have such great hiking weather still free of snow first in the first few days of November and more recently just the past couple of days. Although freezing levels in these periods were not astronomical - in the 10,000-11,000' range, the combination of warm sunny days with pretty high freezing levels and no snow at all was really great and strange at the same time. I suspect it relates to the Blob.
Personally, I set personal "records" for shirtless high elevation hiking in early November and obliterated that on November 21st. November 22nd remained clear but freezing levels were much more modest at 7400'. Prior to November 21st and 22nd, the latest I had ever hiked snow free was November 14th of 1986 - a poor snow year - on Mt. David. No snow at all was visible in that part of the Cascades. This year was farther west, but pretty remarkable and great for hiking.
So, will we get much of a snowpack?