Forum Index > Trail Talk > Zoom>>>, the snowpack likely returns to normal this week.
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ale_capone
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PostSat Jan 11, 2020 7:21 pm 
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Lol.. crinkled door courtesy of jack jazz who cant drive at a reasonable speed. Only when no other drivers are at risk...
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RumiDude
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PostSat Jan 11, 2020 7:36 pm 
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joker wrote:
thunderhead wrote:
Dont be tempted into making poor avalanche choices.

Yeah, I can feel the  "scarcity heuristic" actively operating w/in my own head right now.

Yep, sounds like the wild temperature swings could make for some dangerous situations in the mountains. Add in the wind load factor and  ...

Be safe people!

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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joker
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PostSat Jan 11, 2020 7:48 pm 
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Oh yeah its piling  up fast and coming in windy. NWAC reports slabs going on both mid-storm layers and the interface to older  snow. Which is a ways down now.
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gb
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 8:00 am 
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This was essentially predictable as around here unusually cold weather is often followed by unusually warm weather, often wet (just the long wave pattern); but we see some snow this week and perhaps nasty conditions late in the week. If this comes to pass, very large and destructive avalanches could happen this week but could be major by next weekend. This is a lot like the set-up for the Yodelin avalanche of January 1971 and the many others throughout the Cascades during that cycle.

NWS Forecast Discussion here is very informative:

Quote:
Area Forecast Discussion

National Weather Service Seattle WA

215 AM PST Sun Jan 12 2020



.SYNOPSIS...An upper trough will move through the region today and

tonight. Fraser outflow winds will develop by afternoon in the

Bellingham area. Cold air will push south tonight and remain over

the region for several days. A weather system arriving Wednesday

night or Thursday could bring snow to the lowlands. Warmer rainy

weather is likely by next weekend.



&&



.SHORT TERM /TODAY THROUGH TUESDAY/...Showers will increase this

morning and areas of precip are likely into the evening hours. The

Bellingham to Williams Lake gradient will be rising fast today and

Fraser outflow ought to kick in midday. The winter storm watch for

the San Juans, Western Whatcom County, and Skagit County is now a

warning. The northeast winds will spread down toward Sequim this

afternoon and the UW wrfgfs gives that area some snow later today.

The foothills all along the north side of the Olympics have a good

chance of seeing a period of heavy snow later today as the northerly

gales hit the Olympics. The wrfgfs also showed areas of snow moving

from Snohomish county late this afternoon into King County early

this evening. The winter storm watch seems fine for the now--maybe

the 12z runs will show something more dramatic, but an inch or two

seems a pretty good bet around Seattle this evening. Certainly more

is possible if the modified arctic front stalls for a few hours.

Watching the radar later today is the only way to know. The previous

run of the wrfgfs had less snow, while other mesoscale models had

more in the classic convergence zone area around the King/Sno county

line. The 00z GEFS plumes for Seattle suggest a 1-3" event for the

metro area--although you hate to favor that over an average of the

mesoscale solutions. Overall things have gone from looking rain

shadowed to more like bands of showers in convergence or simply

precip triggered by the lift along the leading edge of the colder

air. The forecast has stratiform weather--rain likely/snow likely

etc, I would prefer if it said showers but lately we have not been

making a big deal about the difference in the forecast and choosing

convective precip over stratiform isn`t in vogue for some reason.

Wouldn`t it be something if a thunderstorm formed along a convective

band of showers this evening. We shall see. The modified arctic

front will linger over the area Monday and Tuesday with spotty light

precip lingering--especially in the southern half of Western

Washington. 19



.LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY/...A frontal system and

possibly a deep low will be approaching Oregon on Wednesday.

Western Washington could see periods of snow Wednesday night and

Thursday as that system moves north and breaks up. The chilly

weather pattern breaks down quickly on Friday. It should be raining

by the weekend with highs in the 40s and maybe even the lower to mid

50s although that is not in the forecast quite yet.
19

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rossb
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 8:47 am 
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thunderhead wrote:
On days when snoqualmie pass gets absolutely dumped on, they should just outright ban anything less than awd.  No trucks and no 2wd.

Banning trucks would make sense (e. g. no vehicles over a particular weight) and I think they do that on occasion. But I'm not sure if four wheel drive really helps that much. I've seen plenty of Subarus and Jeeps spun out.  Four wheel drive (or all wheel drive) is great for keeping you moving, but I don't really see how it prevents you from losing traction around a corner. The quality of tires is probably a lot more important. Someone in a two wheel drive Honda Fit with snow tires is probably safer than someone in a Subaru and "all weather" tires.

There are a lot of other factors, of course, experience being one of them. To a certain extent, the 4-wheel drive exception is based on the assumption that those driving a specialized vehicle are better prepared for the conditions. They are also more likely to have snow tires. My guess is the problem occurs when someone in a four wheel drive vehicle becomes overconfident, and thinks all wheel drive is magic, and a substitute for appropriate tires and sensible driving.

This is why, on occasion, the pass simply requires chains for everyone who wants to get over the pass.  That seems safest, and people are also more likely to slow down when they have chains on (but there is always that idiot ...).
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thunderhead
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 8:55 am 
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Pass closed just now 1 minute ahead of us.

Figures!

Gotta wake up earlier next time.  Too many bad drivers!
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joker
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 9:22 am 
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Yeah that forecast for end of week looks intriguing.

I heard a lot of Wazzu students are heading back to school this weekend. I wonder how much that's adding to the fun over i90 yesterday and today.
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nordique
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 10:24 am 
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WSU students may be returning to campus via the longer Columbia Gorge route today.  Stevens Pass is open--unlike Snoqualmie Pass.
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joker
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seeker
PostSun Jan 12, 2020 10:36 am 
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I would guess that  there is a distribution of them across all the logical and  semi-logical routes.
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostSun Jan 12, 2020 10:48 am 
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rossb wrote:
Banning trucks would make sense (e. g. no vehicles over a particular weight) and I think they do that on occasion. But I'm not sure if four wheel drive really helps that much. I've seen plenty of Subarus and Jeeps spun out.  Four wheel drive (or all wheel drive) is great for keeping you moving, but I don't really see how it prevents you from losing traction around a corner. The quality of tires is probably a lot more important. Someone in a two wheel drive Honda Fit with snow tires is probably safer than someone in a Subaru and "all weather" tires.

There are a lot of other factors, of course, experience being one of them. To a certain extent, the 4-wheel drive exception is based on the assumption that those driving a specialized vehicle are better prepared for the conditions. They are also more likely to have snow tires. My guess is the problem occurs when someone in a four wheel drive vehicle becomes overconfident, and thinks all wheel drive is magic, and a substitute for appropriate tires and sensible driving.

This is why, on occasion, the pass simply requires chains for everyone who wants to get over the pass.  That seems safest, and people are also more likely to slow down when they have chains on (but there is always that idiot ...).

Yup.  On a bad, memorable trip through a storm, I putted along in my 2 wheel drive pickup and had 4x4s blowing by.  Later on, saw some of them in the ditch and one was upside down.  One still needs to drive 4x4s carefully as they use professional drivers on isolated roads for those commercials.

I ended up chaining up on that particular adventure.  As is often the case, once I got to where the pass crews took over the maintenance (White Pass) the road was in great shape.  Dunno about Snoqualmie, but on White, that is often the case.  The summit crew has more and better equipment than the lower elevation crews.

The function of the brain is more important than having all wheel drive.

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joker
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 11:16 am 
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AWD definitely helps with forward traction in some situations, but afaict not nearly so much with sideways traction (i.e. cornering) and not at all with stopping traction (all cars have 4 wheel brakes after all and most now have pretty good computerized braking traction control). So yeah, tires. I offered to help push a stuck big ol' 4x4  pickup in the upper Alpental lot on an afternoon much like yesterday a few years ago. The woman friend/wife who  was relegated to pushing from outside said "he won't want anyone else to help" and when I said "you might try suggesting  to him that he at least ease up on the gas" (as he was gunning it and the wheels were just spinning  wildly, no subtlety or back/forth  rocking or such being  tried ) she sighed and  said "yeah I told him that already..." When he was in a rare moment of not gunning it I noticed that the tires looked close to bald.
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treeswarper
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PostSun Jan 12, 2020 8:19 pm 
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Daayum.  The wind is sucking away our will to live here.  The dog did not potty.  Might be an interesting night.

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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cascade curmudgeon
PostSun Jan 12, 2020 9:12 pm 
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Interesting snow season here at Stevens.  We have had more snow in the first 12 days of Jan than we did in the previous 3 months.  We are now back to average SWE for the date for the first time since Oct.

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gb
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PostSat Jan 18, 2020 6:41 am 
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Well snowpacks except in some locations on the east side are now about 120% of normal, but that is about it for the next ten days.

Large avalanches seem possible in the Olympics and North Cascades west slopes later Saturday or Sunday if there is enough warm snow/rain but very likely all areas in the latter half of next week with high freezing levels and what looks now like heavy precipitation as well. If this develops there could be some 10' slabs. We'll see. But maybe even significant risk in mountain valleys with deep snow cover now at low elevations. Some mountain top to valley floor massive avalanches?
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gb
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PostMon Jan 20, 2020 8:27 am 
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gb wrote:
Well snowpacks except in some locations on the east side are now about 120% of normal, but that is about it for the next ten days.

Large avalanches seem possible in the Olympics and North Cascades west slopes later Saturday or Sunday if there is enough warm snow/rain but very likely all areas in the latter half of next week with high freezing levels and what looks now like heavy precipitation as well. If this develops there could be some 10' slabs. We'll see. But maybe even significant risk in mountain valleys with deep snow cover now at low elevations. Some mountain top to valley floor massive avalanches?

This chance of really big slides now looks to be Thursday into Friday and possibly Saturday as the precipitation combined with high snow levels will load the snowpack and possibly get some water down to the base especially below rocky areas and below treebands.

Just looking at NWS "Local Forecasts" for Mt. Baker and Rainier, it shows 4" of water at Baker and 3"+ at Rainier. Since the entire cold, snowy period had +- 7" of water, that means that 1/2 as much load as happened in that entire period will fall Thursday into Saturday morning. That is a lot of stress on a weak layer.
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Zoom>>>, the snowpack likely returns to normal this week.
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