Thursday, May 21, 2009

Washington Climate Continued

In the last blog we talked about precipitation across Washington state.

Over 100 inches per year in and near the Olympic Mountains on the west coast to less than 10 inches per year in a few locations on the eastern side of the state.

Much of this falls as rain, but snow is also an important form of precipitation in many locations too, especially as you move up in elevation.

Stampede Pass, east of Seattle, receives over 400 inches of snow annually. It causes a lot of traffic headaches on I-90 during the winter months as you cross over the spine of the Cascade Mountains.

Another weather feature residents of Washington must often deal with is wind storms, especially along the coast and Puget Sound areas.

Click here to watch an informative video about wind storms across western Washington.

The most common time for wind storms is during the cooler season, from approximately November to March.

As we talked about earlier, this is the stormy time of the year and the wet season for the region.

Wind storms can spread inland too and impact eastern Washington, such as on January 7, 2007 and on February 2, 1999.

Another weather hazard that can sometimes impact locations across eastern Washington is freezing drizzle.

This occurs as moist air masses crosses the Cascades and mixes over the inland basin.

Though often light, it can cause travel problems, such as in this example along I-90 in eastern Washington this past January.

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