Ellensburg In For A Snowy Winter

Ellensburg looks to be on its way to a snowy winter. On average, the city receives a total of 28 inches of snowfall each year, or about 2.5 feet. This total is comparable to what New York City receives in an average winter. However, the Pacific Northwest is in a La Niña pattern and forecasters are predicting a wetter and colder weather pattern for the Pacific Northwest this winter. Already in the month of November 2010, Ellensburg received more than six inches of snow, which is well above average.

A late November arctic storm brought record cold temperatures and snow totals in Washington State. Seattle set its all–time low temperature mark on November 24 reaching 14 degrees Fahrenheit at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. On the same day, Ellensburg had a frigid low temperature of –10 degrees. Ellensburg has not reached above 33 degrees during the November 22, 2010 – December 2, 2010 period, which is well below normal. The cold temperatures have not allowed much of the accumulated snow to melt.

Spokane, which is 170 miles east of Ellensburg and at a slightly higher elevation, has seen significant snow totals. It set a new record for snow in the month of November, with 25.9 inches recorded at Spokane International Airport for the month. The old record for Spokane of 24.7 inches was recorded 55 years ago in November 1955. More snow is forecasted for Eastern Washington for the first week of December 2010.

The heavy early season snowfall totals have allowed all of the Ellensburg area ski areas to open for the season. Snoqualmie Summit, Mission Ridge, Stevens Pass, and White Pass are all operating as of December 2, 2010.

If you are traveling to the Ellensburg or Eastern Washington area this winter, dress warmly and be prepared for winter driving conditions. Be sure to check our Ellensburg weather page for the latest conditions. And for a live look at the Central Washington University campus and surrounding area, check out the views from the CWU web cams.