Snow falls on mountain passes



REPUBLIC- Although the first official day of winter is more than a month away, a few communities throughout Okanogan and Ferry County were greeted to cold temperatures and the first skiff of snow for the season this morning.

While yesterday’s high temperature for town was near 50-degrees, last night temperatures dipped down into the low 30s and brought rain and a trace of snow.

Several mountain passes throughout the state also saw their first snowfall last night and earlier this morning.

As of 11 a.m. this morning, the state Department of Transportation reported Wauconda Pass had some compact snow and ice on the roadway, as well as Sherman Pass.

Similarly, officials reported the North Cascades Highway has compact snow, slush and ice on the roadway.

“A cooler and unstable air mass has become established over the Inland Northwest behind yesterdays cold front,” Meteorologists said Wednesday morning. “Numerous rain and snow showers are expected today, mainly across the northeast portion of Washington as well as over the northern Idaho Panhandle.”

Meteorologists from the Spokane office of the National Weather Service said most of

the accumulating snow will occur in the mountains and bring winter driving conditions to roads above 3,000-4000 feet.

“The threat of showers will decrease overnight, however another weak weather system will bring a renewed threat of light rain or snow showers on Thursday and Friday,” officials said Wednesday morning. “The cool pattern will moderate by the weekend as moisture moves in from the southwest ahead of a deep offshore trough.”

According to the Service’s observed data, the average first-inch-of-snow reports include Winthrop, Nov. 13; Wenatchee, Dec. 3; Mazama, Nov. 8, and Republic, Nov. 18.

Last week weather officials announced they are calling for much cooler temperatures in the near future as La Nina weather conditions are projected to have a 55 percent chance of lasting though the winter.

According to the Climate Prediction Center, La Nina conditions were observed last month, with negative sea surface temperature anomalies in early November stretching across most of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean.

“La Nina is likely to affect temperature and precipitation across the United States during the upcoming months,” meteorologists said. “Seasonal outlooks generally favor above-average temperatures and below-median precipitation across the southern tier of the United States, and below-average temperatures and above-median precipitation in the northern tier of the United States.

“Given the current atmospheric and oceanic conditions, along with model forecasts, the forecaster consensus favors the continuation of weak La Nina conditions through December-February,” officials said. “La Nina conditions are present and slightly favored to persist through winter 2016-17.”

They gave a 55 percent chance of the conditions continuing.

Last month’s soggy, rainy weather brought many records for monthly rainfall.

“It was a record month with many longstanding October records falling,” officials said.

New local records include:

  • Chief Joseph Dam, 3.8 inches. The previous record was 2.04 inches in 1956.
  • Colville, 5.82 inches. The previous record was 4.81 inches in 1947.
  • Ephrata, 2.52 inches. The previous record was 1.92 inches in 1950.

  • Grand Coulee Dam, 3.98 inches. The previous record was 2.95 inches in 1947

  • Republic, 4.87 inches. The previous record was 4.27 inches in 1950.

  • Waterville, 3.47 inches. The previous record was 2.94 inches in 1947.

  • Wenatchee, 2.03 inches. The previous record was 1.72 inches in 1962.

  • Winthrop, 3.72 inches. The previous record was 3.13 inches in 2003.



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