A Heatwave of History: Mount Rainier, WA’s, Snowpack Melting

Breya Bergom |
Global Warming
PC: Chris LeBoutillier

Climate change and global warming have lead to many heatwaves ravaging across the US. This year, the 2021 Western North America Heat Wave struck across Canada and states such as Northern California, Idaho, Western Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Mount Rainier, which is located in Washington, has experienced the effects of climate change.

Around July 10th, resident Jack Deconinck-Smith claims he witnessed massive pieces of snow starting to slide down Mount Rainier. The action let off a large explosion noise, claims Deconinck-Smith.

Snowpacks are snow on the grounds of mountain areas that persist until warmer weather arrives. The snowpack of Mount Rainier reached record numbers this year. Unfortunately, it was soon destroyed by the blistering June temperatures.

Although Mount Rainier has hit records for its snowpack, it was melting at a rapid speed because of heatwaves which contributed to high temperatures in July. PC: Katie Moum

While Mount Rainer received a decent amount of snow in late June and early July, the heatwave destroyed almost all of it. Although snow melting is natural, it’s unusual to see it all melt as fast as it did. Mount Rainier had a 175% snowpack, yet it still disappeared faster than ever.

Overall, about 30% of Mount Rainier’s snowpack was melted by the end of the heatwave.

Climate Change
The condition of the snowpack is just one of the many negative effects to come from global warming. PC: Gaspar Zaldo

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