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December 21, 2012 at 2:56 PM
UPDATE | The Mount Baker Highway reopened at 4 p.m. today. The Washington State Department of Transportation says it cleared more than 175 fallen trees and 6 feet of snow from the roadway.
EARLIER POST | If the weather behaves and the more than 175 trees and the six feet of snow that have fallen on the Mount Baker Highway since Friday are cleared, the roadway is expected to reopen by 6 p.m. today, according to the state Transportation Department.
That should make skiers happy because the road has been closed 10 miles west of the ski area since Tuesday. The DOT says the highway should be ready for folks wanting to hit the slopes this weekend.
Clearing the highway had been unsafe for days due to high winds. Crews working three excavators and a front loader began tackling the tangled trees and the snow this morning after the wind, rain and snow subsided a bit, according to the DOT.
Be warned, though, that if you’re heading that way tomorrow, you should be prepared for winter conditions. Carrying chains is required and may be needed this weekend.
There are more photos of the mess made by all the snow and those downed trees.
December 20, 2012 at 8:32 AM
The tragic tale of the massive avalanche that killed three people at the out-of-bounds Tunnel Creek ski run near Stevens Pass last February gets a detailed telling in a series that has started in The New York Times.
In the first chapter of “Snow Fall,” writer John Branch puts you with professional skier Elyse Saugstad, who was caught in the avalanche and swept down the mountain before coming to a stop, partially buried, unable to move, mummified, Branch writes.
“If you swim out in the ocean, the ocean’s always alive,” Saugstad said. “You can feel it. But the mountains feel like they’re asleep.”
There are six beautifully designed chapters in all, filled with informational graphics, videos and photos.
October 18, 2011 at 8:45 AM
Expect a wet start to winter and a cold, snowy finish that should delight skiers and water-resource managers. That’s the word to Western Washington residents from AccuWeather.com.
The Pennsylvania-based private forecasting agency this week said precipitation is likely to be above normal in the Seattle and Portland areas in December, and then ease back closer to normal levels in January.
The big story of the winter – heavy snowfall – could hit in February and last into early March, said Ken Clark, AccuWeather.com’s Western U.S. expert. Although overall precipitation during that period may not be above normal, more of it is expected to fall as snow, as frigid conditions spread from the Pacific Coast to the Rocky Mountains.
Clark said the forecasts, generated by computer models, are driven by the fact that surface water temperatures are below normal in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator. That’s the signature of a “La Nina” pattern which, in the Northwest U.S., often means higher than usual winter precipitation and colder temperatures, Clark said.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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