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Snow lovers hope La Niña delivers on cooler, wetter winter across western Washington

A man skis on a road in the Ballard neighborhood after a large storm blanketed the city with snow on February 9, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle almost reached its yearly amount of snowfall in a day. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Western Washington is likely to experience a cooler, wetter winter this year because of a La Niña weather pattern, according to new long-term projections from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While more precipitation and cooler temperatures are the perfect conditions for snow, NOAA says it can’t project seasonal snowfall accumulations that far in advance. Snow forecasts are usually not predictable more than a week out, it explains in the new data.

That doesn’t mean we can’t dream about it, or cross our fingers and hope instead for a heat wave. The National Weather Service issued a poll on Twitter on Thursday asking Pacific Northwesterners how they feel about snow this winter.

Just over 2,000 people voted and 56.5% said they want a ton of snow, with another 25.4% voting for just a bit of snow. That leaves 18% hoping for the more typical clouds and rain, and maybe some sun breaks this season.

For now, if you’re a snow lover, you’re likely already paying close attention to what’s happening in the Cascade Mountains. Snow began falling in earnest at Stevens Pass last weekend, with another hit on Wednesday.

Stevens Pass plans to open on Dec. 4 this season, with some safety precautions. CEO of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz, outlined those precautions here. They include mandatory face coverings and reservations, in order to maintain the proper capacity to ensure good physical distancing.

Snoqualmie Pass is also resuming operations this season, but it’s unclear when. It had to pause its seasons pass sales in September to re-evaluate volume. The resorts plans to resume those sales sometime in October. Meanwhile, it has also published a list of COVID-19 precautions here, which also includes mandatory face coverings.

 

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Coming to you live from a snowy Stevens Pass! Our webcams are showing off the first flakes of the season this morning. #PurePNW

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NOAA’s next winter outlook will post on November 19, 2020. For a full explanation of the entire United States’ climate outlook, NOAA has posted this handy video:

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