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West Cascades Climate

The West Cascades catch Pacific maritime weather systems that roll over the ecoregion from fall through spring. Temperatures are cool but moderate. Precipitation is high, from 55 to 140 inches annually. Lower elevations in the Cascades will see much of this as rain, while a rain and snow mix prevails at mid-elevations.

A blanket of snow often covers the higher elevations through much of the winter. Snowfall on higher slopes can be staggering: more than 93 feet of snow fell at Paradise on the slopes of Mount Rainier in the winter of 1971-72.

Typically, winters are cold and wet and summers can be cool and drier, sometimes foggy. July and August are driest months, particularly when high-pressure systems form east of the Cascade crest.


For details of this ecoregion within Washington, click a subheading in the left column.

View the more general description of this ecoregion in North America

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