Cascades see first snowfall of the season
It’s not quite time to wax up your skis, but over the last weekend, Stevens Pass got its first snowfall of the season, a marked difference from the weather just days ago when smoke clogged the air.
Just days ago, with historically high temperatures and no precipitation, the area was dealing with the poorest air quality in the world with an Air Quality Index ranging from 180 in Seattle to over 300 in Snohomish, Gold Bar, and spots near Bellingham, making the air extremely unhealthy.
Now the air has cleared and conditions are crisp, cold, and clear as the rain clears out the particulates.
At Stevens Pass Ski area, Mother Nature dusted stands of Douglas Fir with white snowflakes for the first time this year.
Morning! It appears that fall has indeed finally officially arrived. Wet roads, wind, probably mountain snow before too much longer. It’s a great time to be sure you & your vehicle are prepared. Check our winter travel page for tips: https://t.co/7f7lfC8IrY
— Washington State DOT (@wsdot) October 24, 2022
It was a nice surprise for Maria Zuarez of Woodinville, who told KIRO 7 that her husband and her drove up to the pass just to see the fresh snowfall.
“And my husband say(s), ‘Let’s go and drive and see what we can see,’” she said. “So, and then we saw this. It’s so beautiful. This is the first time we see it like this. We usually come in January, but it’s so beautiful.”
Another person, Tom Beales of Bothell, told KIRO 7 that the biggest improvement was in the air quality.
“It’s been terrible until yesterday,” said Tom Beales of Bothell. “Yeah, it’s been really bad. So, we just got out of town to enjoy the fresh air.”
The main culprit of the hazy skies has been the Bolt Creek Fire, which has burned 14,766 acres. The fire is now more than 50% contained as of Saturday, with state fire crews leaving the site in the hands of local crews.
According to officials with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the fire is only burning in areas inaccessible to fire crews and they will be relying on the coming precipitation to put the fire out.
And the road to Stevens, US Route 2, which has been closed intermittently to clear burnt trees from the road. US 2 is now reopened but is subject to closures and delays if debris falls onto the road.
KIRO 7 News contributed to this report.