Senior Editor

The Inertia

It’s been an interesting fall thus far, with snow storms across the West allowing for early-season skiing and riding that feels unlike any in recent memory (shredding in September?). And this week, things could get real, as an ‘Atmospheric River’ is set to dump mucho precipitation from California to Canada.

Atmospheric rivers are pretty cool phenomenons, especially for lovers of snow. 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.

This one looks significant. Mt. Shasta in Northern California is expected to get rain from Thursday to at least Tuesday but the temperatures might stay warmer during the day. Farther north, some six inches of rain is expected for Portland and Seattle. And it’ll cool in the mountains (unfortunately, snow levels should remain at 7,000 feet until at least early next week). Mt. Hood, Mt. Baker, Whistler and all the mountains in the region are expecting heavy snowfalls with temperatures in the 30s during that same time period. Forecasters aren’t quantifying snow totals but with that kind of rain forecast in the cities (San Francisco might get 2″), things could get deep. “The firehose pointed at us late this week won’t just impact Northern California,” said the US National Weather Service, Sacramento on its Facebook page. “Plentiful rain will be coming to much of the West Coast!”

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