The west coast of the United States and Canada is about to get hit with the first significant series of storms of the 2016/17 winter. Forecasters are calling for powerful winds, massive waves, flooding, and…wait for it…very significant snowfall in higher elevations.
What’s an Atmospheric River?
Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) are relatively narrow regions of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere. On average, about 30-50% of annual precipitation in the west coast states comes from this type of weather phenomenon.
“They’re essentially rivers of moisture traveling in narrow lines and can carry massive amounts of precipitation, setting up different regions for an entire winter if they remain for any extended period of time.” – The Inertia
Which states will get dumped on?
NOAA is forecasting the remnants of Typhoon Songda to bring significant snowfall on the higher elevations of Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia in Canada.
- Mount Rainier is forecasted to get 50-70 inches of snow at higher elevations.
- Mt. Hood is forecasted to get 45-48 inches of snow.
- Mt. Shasta is forecasted to get 84 inches.
- Whistler Blackcomb is expected to get 40 inches.
- Further south, OpenSnow.com is calling for 12 to 24 inches at high elevations in Tahoe.