Now, satellite imagery makes clear another terrible impact: The region’s snow and ice took a massive hit. Hotter-than-normal temperatures on high accompanied blistering triple-digit heat in the valleys, and snowpack shriveled as a result. The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite passed over the region before and after the heat wave. The imagery from the Olympic Peninsula to the iconic volcanoes like Mount Hood and Rainier shows the disappearing act of the ice and snow.
Reports earlier this week indicate Mount Rainier lost 30% of its snowpack in the heat wave alone. Even before then, the 100 or so inches (254 centimeters) of snow on the ground at the Paradise weather station was in trouble. The heat wave basically just turbocharged the decline.
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