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Author Topic: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW  (Read 3142 times)

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Offline dwagner88

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Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« on: March 15, 2016, 08:42:00 PM »



On Good Friday, my wife and I are departing for a 9 day trip to Washington and Oregon. As a weather nerd, it is one of the more fascinating places in the country to me. 4 big highlights for me will be the Olympic Mountains and the Hoh Rainforest west of Seattle, Mt. St. Helens (this one is weather permitting), and Crater Lake. Crater Lake averages around 500" of snow per year, and has about 9' on the ground right now. Believe it or not, they actually keep the roads into the park open whenever possible in winter, though obviously some sections are closed. The road in the picture above is a winter shot of the road up to the crater rim. The Hoh Rainforest gets very little snow (less than most of us in TN), but gets around 150" of rain per year. 5 miles away, the ridgelines above 5000' get so much snow they are glaciated in spots. The microclimates of the region remind me a lot of the high mountains of east TN, but everything is turned up to 11 in the PNW. This region has very docile summers with little precip, but I wanted to experience the diverse weather of this area first hand, so we are going towards the end of the snowy/rainy season.

I will definitely put together some pictures when we get back at the beginning of April. I'm also open to suggestions for things to do during our hotel stays in Seattle, Forks, Portland, or Eugene if anybody is familiar with the area.
Winter 2009-10 Snowfall: 11.5 in. :)
Winter 2010-11 Snowfall: 15.5 in. :)
Winter 2011-12: Trace
Winter 2012-2013: 0.25 in.
Winter 2013-14: 10.6 (9.5 on 2/12)
Winter 2014-2015:
2/18 - 0.25" snow
2/20 - 1.5" snow, 0.15" ZR
2/24 - 0.5" snow
2/25 - 8" snow :)

Offline Curt

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2016, 08:59:09 PM »
We went to Vancouver Island- north of Victoria- in December. The climate is probably similar- warmer along the coast buy snowy as elevation increases. Everything was incredibly green and just indescribable. Hope you guys have fun! Here is a couple shots from our trip.

If it's anything like ours - you will love it and want to go back. Try the chowder- any kind- wherever you can.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2016, 10:04:52 PM »



On Good Friday, my wife and I are departing for a 9 day trip to Washington and Oregon. As a weather nerd, it is one of the more fascinating places in the country to me. 4 big highlights for me will be the Olympic Mountains and the Hoh Rainforest west of Seattle, Mt. St. Helens (this one is weather permitting), and Crater Lake. Crater Lake averages around 500" of snow per year, and has about 9' on the ground right now. Believe it or not, they actually keep the roads into the park open whenever possible in winter, though obviously some sections are closed. The road in the picture above is a winter shot of the road up to the crater rim. The Hoh Rainforest gets very little snow (less than most of us in TN), but gets around 150" of rain per year. 5 miles away, the ridgelines above 5000' get so much snow they are glaciated in spots. The microclimates of the region remind me a lot of the high mountains of east TN, but everything is turned up to 11 in the PNW. This region has very docile summers with little precip, but I wanted to experience the diverse weather of this area first hand, so we are going towards the end of the snowy/rainy season.

I will definitely put together some pictures when we get back at the beginning of April. I'm also open to suggestions for things to do during our hotel stays in Seattle, Forks, Portland, or Eugene if anybody is familiar with the area.

Hope you all have a great time & safe trip!
My wife & I depart for San Antonio on Thursday.  My company is having the awards banquet there this year.  We are both looking forward to seeing a city we have not. Nice when everything is paid for.
Our big trip is in June to Maui.  I reached my sales goal last year so the wife & I get to go for free.  We are taking our 9 & 12 year olds with us.  Really excited to spend time with them over there.  I am very fortunate I work for a company that takes care of its employees.  Our owner encourages us to bring family along on these trips. 
Love the pictures!  I plan in a couple of years to take 10 days & take the family on an out west trip.  My brother did a few years ago & loved it.  He went thru the Badlands to Yellowstone to Grand Canyon to Hoover to Yosemti.

Offline dwagner88

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 06:52:26 PM »
I meant to update this pretty quickly once we got back, but we have over 3000 photos to go through. Thought I'd do a quick pic dump from my cellphone. This set is missing photos from the hoh rainforest hike. I didn't take my phone on that hike due to the rain.

First photo is a view of Mt. Rainier from the rooftop lounge of our hotel in the morning after our first night in Seattle. It is very difficult to get the scale of this mountain to show in photos. It is absolutely massive, and it totally dominates the sky to the SE of Seattle. It is also very likely the snowiest place on earth, and one of only a few places where glaciers are still advancing:

Next is a view of the Olympic Mountains across the Puget Sound. The Seattle Aquarium is on the right:

Another view of the Olympic mountains. I took this one from the deck of the 2000 person ferry across the Puget sound to the Olympic Peninsula:

Merrymere Falls in Olympic National Park (the rainforest is living up to its name at this point, with intermittent heavy rain and convective hailshowers!):

Roosevelt Elk on the road to the Hoh Rainforest (the wettest place in the continental US):

The above photo is the last time we saw bad weather on our trip. We had 6 days of beautiful unseasonably warm weather with no clouds. Abnormal for this early in the spring, but perfect for us.

Astoria Oregon from a hilltop above the city. This is the mouth of the Columbia River, and the end of Lewis and Clark's famed expedition. The far side of the bridge in the photo is in Washington, and the near side is Oregon:

Cannon Beach Oregon:

Multnomah Falls Oregon. This is in the Columbia River Gorge not far from Portland. It is nearly 700 feet tall. I did get a chance to hike to the top:

A view of downtown Portland from my morning run. I LOVED Portland. If it wasn't so expensive, I would happily move there this year:

Cape Foulweather on the Oregon Coast:

Heceta Head on the Oregon Coast:

I didn't know this before I came, but apparently Oregon has the largest coastal sand dunes in the country. This photo was taken right behind a Walmart about 5 miles inland from the Pacific:

This is a photo of what remains of Mount Mazama. Mount Mazama used to be a 12000 ft tall volcano, but after a particularly explosive eruption it collapsed and formed Crater Lake. Note the lack of snow in this photo. I am at about 4600' elevation here, but on the dry side of the Cascades:

And now, the greatest photo I have ever taken on a cellphone. Crater Lake in all its glory on a day with perfect visibility:



Most of the research I have done shows that the rim village at Crater Lake (where I am standing while taking the above photos) is either the snowiest or second snowiest place in the country (as mentioned above, Mt. Rainier is likely snowier, but isn't consistently measured). They receive around 500" of snow every year. I have no idea how they manage to keep the roads open all winter, but they do. Makes me wish the people who clear snow on 441 in the Smokies could do the same. They don't use any salt either. Here is an example of the roads in Crater Lake National Park:



Here is a bonus pic of frozen Diamond Lake with Mount Bailey in the background. This was lower in elevation than Crater Lake (around 5200') and the temp was much warmer. It was nearly 60 degrees. You could actually hear the ice sizzling in the sun:

And finally, a picture of Autzen stadium (home of the Oregon Ducks) in Eugene taken from a nearby butte:


As I said, I have MANY more pics to go through. The above pics only came from my phone. Once I can go through all of the pics from the digital cameras, I will make another post of some of the better ones. My wife and I had a fantastic time on this trip, and I truly believe that Crater Lake is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life.
Winter 2009-10 Snowfall: 11.5 in. :)
Winter 2010-11 Snowfall: 15.5 in. :)
Winter 2011-12: Trace
Winter 2012-2013: 0.25 in.
Winter 2013-14: 10.6 (9.5 on 2/12)
Winter 2014-2015:
2/18 - 0.25" snow
2/20 - 1.5" snow, 0.15" ZR
2/24 - 0.5" snow
2/25 - 8" snow :)

Offline Thundersnow

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 08:10:52 PM »
Beautiful pics!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Dyersburg Weather

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2016, 07:28:28 AM »
Awesome pics. Looks like it was a good trip.

Offline Nashville_Wx

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2016, 11:55:57 AM »
Did you have a chance to go up to Hurricane Hill ? Some spectacular views from up there. The Hoh and the Sul Duc are amazing places to visit as well. The Hoh river trail leads up to Mt. Olympus which is quite technical . Also one of my favorite areas to hike in the Olympics is the High Divide Loop (7 Lakes Basin). The Olympics are truly a place to visit!


Offline dwagner88

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2016, 04:30:39 PM »
Did you have a chance to go up to Hurricane Hill ? Some spectacular views from up there. The Hoh and the Sul Duc are amazing places to visit as well. The Hoh river trail leads up to Mt. Olympus which is quite technical . Also one of my favorite areas to hike in the Olympics is the High Divide Loop (7 Lakes Basin). The Olympics are truly a place to visit!
Hurricane Ridge (I think its the same place) was closed due to high winds and snow. We were having hail showers even at low elevations that day. We did Merrymere Falls and La Push beach instead. I had planned on Hurricane Ridge, but there wouldn't have been much of a view, and it could have been dangerous given the weather at the time. We did do the Hoh, but it was pouring rain so all those pictures are on my waterproof camera. I'll upload a few once I get them off the camera. Some of the trees in the Hoh were unbelievably huge. Much bigger than the biggest trees in the SE.
Winter 2009-10 Snowfall: 11.5 in. :)
Winter 2010-11 Snowfall: 15.5 in. :)
Winter 2011-12: Trace
Winter 2012-2013: 0.25 in.
Winter 2013-14: 10.6 (9.5 on 2/12)
Winter 2014-2015:
2/18 - 0.25" snow
2/20 - 1.5" snow, 0.15" ZR
2/24 - 0.5" snow
2/25 - 8" snow :)

Online Coach B

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 05:21:51 AM »
dwagner,
Thanks for sharing. That is an awesome trip report and your pictures are great! The PNW area is beautiful.

I plan in a couple of years to take 10 days & take the family on an out west trip.  My brother did a few years ago & loved it.  He went thru the Badlands to Yellowstone to Grand Canyon to Hoover to Yosemti.

Matthew,
Let me wholeheartedly second your brother's encouragement. My family of six did a similar trip two summers ago. Twelve days on the road in a 7 passenger Ford Explorer. The kids fought, cried, whined, laughed, and had a blast seeing the country. We managed to see the following: Badlands NP, Wind Cave NP, Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills, Devil's Tower NM, Little Bighorn, Yellowstone NP, Grand Tetons NP, Great Sand Dunes NP, and Capulin Volcano NM. I'm sure a bunch of other stuff I can't remember as well. You can't explore and hike as much with a bunch of kids with you. Mine were 11, 9, 7, and 3 at the time. But we had a blast. I even enjoyed the drive across Nebraska. The different landscapes and the lack of people(especially away from the tourist areas) were amazing.

We're already talking about doing it again. Would like to see Glacier and some of the Utah parks/Grand Canyon also. After we got home I bought a used Suburban.  ;D Wish I'd had that monster on the trip.

 

Offline Beth

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Re: Weather Nerd Spring Vacation: The Pacific NW
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 07:15:22 AM »
Beautiful pictures! My husband is from Washington State. His Stepfather and his sister and brother-in-law live in Squim which is on the Pennisula. It is a beautiful state! My Stepdaughter lives in the very northern part of Idaho close to Canadian border which is also very beautiful. We may retire up that way one day.  :)

 

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