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Best maritime polar airmasses in PNW history?

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When we talk about cold on this forum, we almost always talk about continental Arctic air masses, as those are the ones that deliver the coldest temperatures and the most snow when Pacific systems collide with them. But what about maritime polar airmasses - those with little or no continental influence?

Surely there has to be some very strong and memorable maritime polar airmasses in memory, both in early-mid winter and in late winter. Which ones were the coldest, and which ones delivered the most snow to PDX and SEA?

  • Weenie 1
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Part of January 1969 was maritime polar for the Seattle area and snow fell pretty much every day during the week or so that the setup lasted.  After that it went more continental.  Jan 31, 1989 had an amazingly cold maritime polar airmass before the wicked Arctic blast hit.  I had icicles forming at my house in the afternoon during the maritime polar phase of that.

Little question that Jesse's suggestion of March 1951 is correct.  Some parts of that got a bit continental, but part of it was probably maritime.  I think the winter of 1955-56 had a lot of that.

Death To Warm Anomalies!


Winter 2021-22 stats


Total Snowfall = 0.0"

Day with 1" or more snow depth = 0

Total Hail = 0.0"

Coldest Low = 29

Lows 32 or below = 7

Highs 32 or below = 0

Lows 20 or below = 0

Highs 40 or below = 0



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January 1971 wasn't bad. 

Snowfall                                  Precip

2021-22: T"                         2021-22: 8.44" 

2020-21: 12.0"                    2020-21: 71.59"

2019-20: 23.5"                   2019-20: 58.54"

2018-19: 63.5"                   2018-19: 66.33"

2017-18: 30.3"                   2017-18: 59.83"

2016-17: 49.2"                   2016-17: 97.58"

2015-16: 11.75"                 2015-16: 68.67"

2014-15: 3.5"
2013-14: 11.75"                  2013-14: 62.30
2012-13: 16.75"                 2012-13: 78.45  

2011-12: 98.5"                   2011-12: 92.67"

It's always sunny at Winters Hill! 


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