All this wet weather lately has some people thinking, wondering and even wishing about winter.
Word is that the upcoming snowy season will be filled with plenty of powdery days, slightly cooler weather and possibly more precipitation than usual.
“I’m pretty optimistic about the upcoming season,” Larry Schick, a longtime local meteorologist who offers “powder alerts” at powderpoobah.com, told The Seattle Times.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday released its winter outlook, which includes a La Nina watch.
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That could mean wetter, cooler conditions in northern parts of the country, but forecasters cautioned a La Nina should be weak and short-lived.
“A weak La Nina or cool weather pattern is a good place for us to be in, and I would deem it as robust and active,” Schick said. “It will likely open the gates to be a more normal winter and storm track.”
Recent storms have dumped a few inches of snow in the mountains, building excitement for ski season, which in Washington typically opens in November.
Crystal Mountain Ski Resort reported an 8-inch snow depth this week, and White Pass said 14 inches sit atop its Great White Express lift.
Alpental, Stevens Pass and Mount Baker also show fresh snow.
Last year, turnout at Pacific Northwest area resorts spiked when an early winter season created strong snow bases at ski areas from late November through early January.
Snowfall in late February and March meant many areas stayed open well into spring.
Visits to Pacific Northwest resorts were up 142 percent over the previous year, the largest increase on record, according to the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association.
Mount Baker landed on the top-10 list of North American snowfall totals last year with 622 inches. Crystal Mountain saw 231 inches; Stevens Pass had 234 inches; White Pass saw 233 inches; and Alpental had 247 inches.
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