MARCH 17, 1997
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Forecast: Several vigorous weather systems will be moving through this week. Initially, they will bring some higher snow levels (800 ft.) and heavy rain, with some melting of the deep snow pack in the Cascades. Strong winds are likely Tuesday and Wednesday with flooding a threat. Temperatures will be mild through much of the period, but chilly Friday and Saturday morning. There is a chance of thundershowers Thursday and Friday. Weekend: mixed bag of showers and sun.
Washington Passes: Expect some snow or heavy rain at times will some improvement possible Thursady or Friday. Driving will be challenging at times. Visibility will be a problem with the rain and snow mix, so be alert. Skiers: Later in the week and the weekend look best right now. Updated pass information: 368-4499.
Weather Question of the Week: How does hail form?
Answer: Hail starts as a frozen raindrop or snow pellet. Updrafts in thunderstorms keep them from falling while they move through supercooled (below 32 degrees, but still liquid) droplets in the cloud. The supercooled water is immediately frozen around the growing hailstone. Often growing in layers, the hail does not drop to the ground until the updrafts weaken or the hail becomes too heavy. The single largest hailstone, weighing 1.67 lbs. and 6.3 inches in diameter, fell from the sky in Coffeyville, Kansas. Generally weak thunderstorms result in relatively few and small hailstones in Western Washington.