Sound Stories. Sound Voices.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
You are on the KUOW archive site. Click here to go to our current site.
KUOW's environment beat brings you stories on the ongoing cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, alternative energy, the health of the Puget Sound, coal transportation and more. We're also partnered with several stations across the Northwest to bring you environmental news via EarthFix.

Wet and cold (and maybe snowy) La Niña winter predicted for Northwest

seattle snow man
Flickr Photo/Panchenks (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/
Is Seattle going to have a snowy winter? It's hard to predict, but current forecasts favor a good year for our snow pack.

After one of the rainiest Octobers on record, Seattle forecasters are looking ahead at what's to come this winter. If you like snow, you could be in for a treat.

The National Weather Service expects a La Niña type of winter. That means colder and wetter conditions than average.

Weather Service forecaster Kirby Cook said it will probably be a good year for snow pack, with more snow than normal in the mountains. What's less clear is whether Seattle will see snow on the ground.

Cook: "It's a tough thing to forecast because you have to have a bunch of ingredients come together: You have to have precipitation and you've got to have some cold air. And that's tough to do around here because we have so much water, and that helps mitigate temperature, and makes it tough to forecast."

But, Cook said this year there's a better chance of lowland snow than the past couple of years. He said it’s a good idea to have chains and a winter emergency kit if you plan to drive over mountain passes this winter.

Forecasters expect that if La Niña takes effect, the Northwest will be colder than normal starting in January.