The snow falling in the cascades in April raises avalanche problems

Search and rescue officials said fresh snow on what’s already on the ground has teams monitoring the risks of an avalanche.

SNOQUALMIE, Washington. – Up to 20 cm of snow is forecast on the Cascade passes by Saturday, which is good news for the ski resorts. But April snowfall could be a challenge for anyone out and about in the mountains.

The weather system is expected to arrive Friday evening through Saturday and bring another round of rain and mountain snow. The National Weather Service (NWS) said snow depths will stay at around 2,000 feet, with more snow accumulating on the mountain passes.

Mount Baker and Paradise on Mount Rainier could see up to 30 cm of snow, according to the NWS. Stevens and Snoqualmie passes could see up to 8 inches.

Search and rescue workers said the fresh snow on what’s already on the ground has teams monitoring the risks of an avalanche.

Although it’s April, officials said current weather conditions will be just as dangerous as the winter season.

This year’s snowpack could be the third highest since records began in 1981. The snowpack is viewed at its peak on April 1st.

“Usually April 1st is our average peak accumulation,” said Scott Pattee of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which is part of the US Department of Agriculture. “I’m not saying we can’t get more snow. We’ll most likely do it, especially at higher elevations, but now we’re starting to climax and watch it melt. “

As of April 1, snowpack in the Central Puget Sound zone was 132% of normal, according to the NRCS. Snowpack in the North Puget Sound Zone was 110% of normal and 121% of normal in the South Puget Sound Zone.

The lowest snowpack in Washington was in the Lower Pend Oreille Zone, which was 90% or normal as of April 1, according to the NRCS.

And as a reminder, many popular summer trails are dangerous in winter. So check the conditions and find out about avalanche and weather hazards.

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