Friday, February 08, 2008

PARK CLOSED, and historical snowfall data

YUP, the park is temporarily closed (EDIT: reopened to Longmire on Feb. 9).
This is largely because of the super intense snowfall, but also because of the trees that continue to fall across the road to Longmire (over 15 today). In the meantime, don't expect the road to Paradise open any time soon, and we're hoping to reopen the road to Longmire on Saturday.

With all this snow falling, the Paradise road closed, the avalanche danger HIGH to EXTREME, and tree bombs falling in the forest, we might as well stay nice and warm inside and look at some more historical snow data.

Here is a list of the top ten maximum snow-depths as recorded for the National Weather Service by rangers at Paradise, going back to 1948. "Maximum snow depth" means the highest recorded depth of the snowpack on the ground at any given point during a snow-year (July 1 through June 30). "Total snowfall" refers to the running accumulation of snowfall for that same given year. Currently (Feb. 8th), there is just over 200 inches on the ground at Paradise.

252 inches MAX - 1976 - total Snowfall--853.8 inches

256 inches MAX - 1954 - total Snowfall-- (Lost data)
256 inches MAX - 1969 - total Snowfall--829.3 inches
256 inches MAX - 1982 - total Snowfall--757.9 inches
268 inches MAX - 1967 - total Snowfall--692 inches
268 inches MAX - 1997 - total Snowfall--794.8
277 inches MAX - 1971 - total Snowfall--1027 inches
293 inches MAX - 1974 - total Snowfall--1070.7 inches
305 inches MAX - 1972 - total Snowfall--1122 inches (Previous world record*)
367 inches MAX - 1956 - total Snowfall--1000.3

*The current record officially recognized is 1142 inches at Heather Meadows (Mt. Baker Ski Area), set during the 1998/99 snow year.