Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Record Paradise SWE?

With the snow at Alta-Collins nearly gone, I'm looking for a new station to keep an eye on and am zeroing on the SNOTEL station near Paradise Ranger Station on Mount Rainier.

As discussed previously, there was an incredible snowpack on Mount Rainier this year.  Although it didn't peak out at record levels, thanks to cool weather, the snowpack SWE is now running the same as it did during its biggest snow year (presumably 1971-72).

Source: Pacific Northwest River Forecast Center
I suspect that puts the current snow depth at record levels, although some sleuthing is needed to confirm that a year other than the record max SWE year didn't sneak in.

Any bets on the last day of measurable snowpack SWE at the Paradise SNOTEL?

Update @ 2:13 PM:

Mark Albright pulled data and reports that snow was on the ground 6 times out of the past 28 summers (since 1984) on July 26.  This year's 50.9 inches is eclipsed only by 53.1" in 1999.  So, we're not at a record, but this is certainly a BIG year.


  1. Yeah, I've been watching this one for awhile too. Since it's melting at a little over 1 inch SWE/day I'm guessing it'll finally be gone on September 1 (allowing for an increase in daily melt if that ever happens). It looks like 1998-99 holds the record when it melted on August 21. During that summer it finally began melting at higher rates the later it got so we'll see what happens this year. Oh, fun blog by the way! I've been following Alta/Snowbird weather for the past few years too before finding this blog a week or so ago.

  2. Much will depend on the weather. If it remains cloudy and cool, they might make it to September, which even for Paradise is incredible.

    Thanks for the positive feedback.