Rain In NCW Triggering Heightened Avalanche Danger
U.S. 2 through Tumwater Canyon was still closed Friday morning after shutting down for the third time this week Thursday.
Wet snow and rain are being blamed for destabilizing snow, which is leading to extended avalanche danger through the stretch of highway.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Ken Daniel says the same weather pattern brought record rainfall to Wenatchee Thursday.
"You received 0.38 inches at Wenatchee airport, which doesn't sound like a whole lot, but does break the record for the day (Jan. 12)," Daniel said. It was previously 0.26 inches in 1968."
Daniel said the wet weather pattern will continue for at least the next several days.
He also says the Wenatchee Valley is getting more rain than normal for the winter season so far.
“Since Oct. 1 at Wenatchee airport, we’ve received 4.81 inches,” Daniel said. “That’s above the normal value of 3.21 inches. So, a little more moisture than is typical.”
The recent wet weather has brought dangers of snow slides and rock slides on U.S. 2 and U.S. 97A in Chelan County. Both U.S. 2 through Tumwater Canyon and U.S. 97A north of Entiat were closed for more than 24-hours at the beginning of the week.
Lauren Loebsack with the Washington Department of Transportation says the La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific Northwest is bringing a lot of snow, which is also wetter. She said that pattern can lead to unstable conditions for snow and rocks that sit on steep slopes.
Loebsack said warmer weather and rain, which is forecast into the weekend could lead to more road closures in the region.