Todd and his family live in Whitefish, Montana. Todd founded Flathead Valley Weather in 2015 to give more local attention to the weather in this area!
By: snowave , 5:15 AM GMT on November 30, 2012
...And it continues. After a brief break over the weekend (here, and in Boise, ID, where we traveled over the holiday weekend in search of sun) the storm parade is back in full force.
Snow started falling Wednesday afternoon and continued off and on into Thursday. 2-4" has fallen in the area below 2,000 ft, with some sleet and freezing drizzle mixed in at times as well. Temps continue to hover around 32 along the east slopes.
A somewhat unique phenomenon occurs here along the east slopes in fall/ winter time. It's called cold air damming. Cold air is more or less trapped in the valleys and banks up along the east slopes of the Cascade Mountains under a light SE flow. Very little mixing of the lower and mid levels of the atmosphere occurs under these conditions, so it is quite difficult to scour out any cold air that was already in place. While snow levels across other areas of the region have already risen to as high as 6,000 ft, they are still hovering around 1200- 2000 ft here in Plain/Leavenworth area. Pretty amazing.
The forecast calls for this pattern to continue well into next week. A very large low pressure system over the Eastern Pacific remains anchored in place, and continues to pump waves of moisture into the north half of the west coast. While large amounts of water are predicted here in WA.... Norcal and Oregon look to get the worst of it, with some models putting out up to 2 FEET of water by early next week.
Most of this precip looks to fall as rain, as these waves have a relatively warm subtropical moisture tap entrained into them, but the higher peaks of the Northern Sierra and Southern Cascades, especially the volcanoes (Shasta, Bachelor, Hood, etc) will get multiple feet of snow.
I think I'm starting to see webbing form on my hands and feet... Locals say that is normal for newcomers to the region.
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Light Snow Mist