Record Snow in the Cascades

Not by Fire but by Ice


Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us



Record Snow in the Cascades ...
For the Second Time in Ten Years


22 Jan 08 - Experts warn that record snowfall this season has built up the potential for huge spring avalanches with the power to cause extensive damage to mountain hillsides, roads and bridges.

Nearly 10 feet of winter snow has accumulated already in parts of the Cascades, including near Stevens Pass. (More than eleven feet of snow has fallen on Crystal Mountain near Mount Rainier during the past four weeks alone.) If a massive slab of snow were to break off — and conditions are in place for this type of avalanche to occur — it could ravage the landscape, destroying timber stands, homes, roads and whatever else is in the avalanche's path.

This winter already is the worst avalanche season in Washington in modern history. Since December, nine people from Washington have died in avalanches.

The La Nina weather pattern that already has dropped deeper-than-usual snow this year is likely to continue, said Clifford Mass, a University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor.

Statistical models show that the weather pattern — colder temperatures and heavier-than-normal precipitation — tends to occur more in the second half of the winter, he said.

"This is a historical year, and it's not over yet," Mass said.

               The Cascades also saw record snowfall in 1997. This means 
               that the two worst snowfall seasons on record both occurred 
               during the past ten years. 

               The signs are all there - I think we’re headed into an ice age.



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