By Greg Whittaker
Mountain to Sound Outfitters
The winter solstice brought yet another round of storms to the Pacific Northwest with more layers of snow to play in for the tribe of snow people. Both storms came in warm with freezing rain at 3000 to 4000 feet, then quickly cooled, creating thin crust layers that were gradually lessened by the inches of cooler snow that fell on top of them.
Heavy wind loading also occurred, which is the result of heavy winds blowing drifting snow into the lee of ridges. If you take the time to think about the aspect (slope facing direction) and the wind direction, areas of deep snow can be found when only one or two inches of snow have fallen.
All in all, the ski industry is finally healthy in the NW. We are thankful that ocean temperatures have returned to normal in the North Pacific and the engine which provides our pacific maritime climate is again providing us with a more normal winter in Washington.