PENINSULA: Warm temperatures melting Olympic Mountains snow

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Warm weather and low snowfall has parts of the Olympic Mountains looking like it’s summer.

The snow is receding to expose wildflowers, marmot holes and footpaths that wind around Hurricane Ridge.

The Ridge paths “are probably about at the point that they typically are in mid- to late June,” said Barb Maynes, Olympic National Park spokeswoman.

South facing trails that get long looks from the sun are mostly clear, while north facing trails still have 5-foot to 6-foot snow banks.

“But that’s the way typically things are a month from now,” Maynes said.

Washington is coming off its driest winter since 1976-77. The drought emergency that Gov. Gary Locke declared in March remains in effect for the entire state.

“While many of us are enjoying the sunny, warm weather, that’s not good news for the snowpack,” Doug McChesney, state Department of Ecology drought coordinator, said in a news release.

This entire report appears in the Friday/Saturday editions of the Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Or click on “Subscribe” to order your copy via U.S. mail.

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