Snow returns to Cascades and Northern Rockies

Following a dry first half of December, a storm system is finally bringing some much needed snowfall to parts of the West, with the heaviest snow occurring across the Cascades of Washington and the far northern Rockies of Idaho and Montana early this week.  In the Pacific Northwest, total snowfall amounts in the Washington Cascades and the Olympic Mountains through this evening are expected to range from 14-24″ with up to 36″ locally per the Seattle NWS.  In the Oregon Cascades, amounts look to range from 6-12″ with up to 18″ locally. 

Farther east, snowfall amounts in the NE Washington mountains and Northern Idaho Panhandle are expected to range from 10-15″ according to the Spokane NWS, with 1-2 feet possible in favored areas.  Similar amounts of 1-2 feet are expected in Northwest Montana from Whitefish Ski Area to Glacier National Park, with areas in the Flathead Valley receiving 10-15″ of snow per NWS Missoula.

Below is a map from NOAA of forecasted liquid equivalent precipitation over a 48-hour period ending Wednesday afternoon:

Here are some of the preliminary snowfall totals across the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies through Tuesday morning, with these totals likely being added to over the remainder of Tuesday:

  • 24.0″ – Mt. Baker Ski Area, WA
  • 20.0″ – Stevens Pass Ski Area, WA
  • 12.0″ – Blacktail, MT
  • 11.0″ – Silver Mountain Ski Area, ID
  • 10.0″ – Essex, MT
  • 8.0″ – Lookout Pass Ski Area, ID
  • 8.0″ – Whitefish Ski Area, MT
  • 7.0″ – Clallam County, WA

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