Mount Rainier Weather
“The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it“. ~Patrick Young
Make no mistake, the weather plays a very important part in the enjoyment of a visit to Mount Rainier National Park. Even though the park is beautiful in the sunshine, stunning in the snow and the waterfalls spring to life after the rains and winter melt, we all need to be very aware of what the weather is gonna’ be like when we plan a trip to Mount Rainier National Park.
Snow – yep. Rain – yep. Fog – yep. Sun – sorta yep. And that is just the weather on the drive up.
Is it gonna’ be sunny – do I need to take sun cream, a sun hat and glasses?
Is it gonna’ rain – do I need waterproofs and maybe an umbrella?
Is it gonna’ be cold – shall I bring my thermals along, and that woollen balaclava which exposes only my nose but leaves me with terrible “hat hair”?
Trouble is with Mount Rainier, the answer to all three of these questions could very well be “yes” on the same day.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the weather at Mount Rainier.
- What’s The Weather Like at Mount Rainier National Park? – there’s a lot of weather at Mount Rainier, influenced by many features – the elevation for starters, as well as the latitude and the Pacific Ocean. Mostly it’s cool and rainy (that is NOT where the name Mount RAINier comes from), and even though it can get warm and sunny in the summer months (particularly July and August) you must still be prepared for rain. Rain is possible in the summer time, and probable in the spring time, fall and winter.
- Okay, There’s A Good Chance of Rain – But How Much? – depends on which part of the National Park you visit really, it’s generally drier on the east side than it is on the west. There are three separate weather stations at Mount Rainier National Park, keeping an eye on the situation, with recordings as follows – Paradise (with an elevation of 5400 feet) there is an average of 126 inches of annual rainfall, Longmire, which has an elevation of 2761 feet, there is an average of 87 inches of annual rainfall, and at Ohanapecosh which has an elevation of only 1900 feet, there is an average of 75 inches of annual rainfall.
- What About Snow – How Much Snow Can Be Expected at Paradise? – snow of legendary proportions falls at Paradise, “there’s no business like snow business” – snowfall is recorded between the 1 of July and the 30 of June each year, and here’s what has been recorded so far – the maximum snowfall was recorded in 1971 – 1972, when an incredible 93.5 feet of snow fell, get out your calculators, that’s 1122 inches. Wowee, just think of the size of snowman you could build with that lot. In contrast to that mammoth snowfall, during the winter of 1939 – 1940 there was only 26 feet of snow – you could still build a helluva’ snowman with 26 feet of snow though couldn’t you.
- So Does This Snow Ever Melt? – of all the places on all the earth where snowfall is regularly measured, Paradise is officially the snowiest, but it does usually have a short snow free period from around the middle of July until towards the end of September. The snow which falls in October often melts away during the storms too, but by Thanksgiving there’s usually a thick white blanket of snow which is there to stay at least for the months ahead.
That looks like Snow fun at all . . . sorry, couldn’t help it. The snow looks like great fun, but not sure about the boring monotonous voice dude!
More current news and information on the Mount Rainier National Park Facebook page.