Heavy snow in the Cascade Mountains is common this time of year, but forecasters were surprised by sudden, heavy bursts of snow this week - including 80 inches of snow in the past seven days at Mount Baker Ski Area.
The base at Mount Baker was 103 inches as of Thursday, Dec. 6, according to ski area officials, giving Baker the deepest base of snow since it set a world record for recorded snowfall in 1998-99.
Six inches of snow fell between 1 and 3 p.m. Thursday at Snoqualmie Pass and 8 inches fell between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Stevens Pass.
"Snowplows can't keep up with that," said Andy Haner, a meteorologist at Seattle's National Weather Service office.
Twenty-four-hour totals ending at 5 a.m. Friday were 14 inches at Snoqualmie Pass, 21 inches at Stevens Pass and Mount Baker, and 18 inches at Paradise on Mount Rainier.
The snow should taper off for a drier weekend across Washington, Haner said Friday. More rain and mountain snow are forecast to move into Western Washington Sunday afternoon and spread east by evening.
This story was corrected Dec. 7.