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      The snow is finally gone from Stevens Pass

      Stevens Pass Ski Resort lodge area on June 24, 2012. (Courtesy: Stevenspass.com)

      It took until four days after the official start of summer, but the snow is finally all gone from Stevens Pass.

      UW Research Meteorologist Mark Albright says June 24 will go down as the official "melt-out" date -- considered when there are 2 or less inches of snow on the ground at Stevens Pass summit. (The photo above is from the ski resort, which is close, but the DOT's web camera is down at Stevens Pass, the highway, so I had to improvise and we'll just have to take the weather instruments' word the snow is gone along the roadway.)

      June 24 is about three weeks later than the average melt-out date of June 2 (since records have been kept in 1981) but it's a full week earlier than last year's record latest melt-out date of July 1. June 24 goes down as the fourth-latest date.

      But he says that average melt-out date has been trending later over the past 30 years -- the average date was May 30 in the 1980s, June 1 in the 1990s, June 2 in the 2000s, but factor in the last 10 years from 2003-2012 and it slides back to June 6.

      On the other hand, it's not always that late these days. In fact, 2005 holds the record for earliest melt-out at May 1.

      Here is Albright's plot over the last 30 years:


      And here are his year-by-year tallies:

      1 Jul 2011
      25 Jun 2008
      25 Jun 1999
      24 Jun 2012
      23 Jun 1997
      -------------
      20 Jun 2002
      18 Jun 1984
      17 Jun 1982
      10 Jun 2010
      7 Jun 2006
      7 Jun 2000
      7 Jun 1991
      5 Jun 2009
      3 Jun 1990
      2 Jun 2003
      2 Jun 1996
      ------------- Median
      2 Jun 1988
      1 Jun 2007
      31 May 1995
      31 May 1989
      28 May 1994
      28 May 1986
      28 May 1985
      24 May 2001
      23 May 1998
      23 May 1983
      17 May 1993
      -------------
      15 May 2004
      14 May 1987
      9 May 1981
      2 May 1992
      1 May 2005

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