Leavenworth Snow Record

Leavenworth Sets Snowfall Record

Snowy winters in Leavenworth are not uncommon. The city is known for its four-season climate. In fact, the city averages nearly eight feet of snow per year. But the winter of 2022 has already seen record snowfall.

On January 6, 2022, Leavenworth received 36 inches of snow breaking the single day snowfall record in the city. While it certainly made for some epic-looking pictures, the record-breaking total has brought a load of challenges to the city and its residents.

The city was nearly impassable and schools, government offices, and most businesses were closed. Schools were closed for more than three days due to unsafe driving conditions and the time needed for snow removal.

Front Street Park

State of Emergency Declared

Leavenworth Mayor Carl Florea made an emergency declaration for the city on January 7th due to the unprecedented snowfall. The record amount of snow posed a serious concern for life safety and structure stability in the community.

The declaration allows the city to deploy its resources quickly and is a prerequisite for state and federal emergency aid funding and support.

On January 10th, members of the Washington State National Guard arrived to help residents with welfare checks, snow removal, food distribution, and other requests for help. The snow request form can be found here and is for Leavenworth and Chelan County.

Leavenworth Cars Buried

Mountain Pass Closures

The record snowfall wasn’t limited to Leavenworth. Nearby communities received up to four feet of snow in a 48-hour period. Higher elevations in the Cascade Mountains were hit even harder. All major mountain passes were closed in the area including Stevens Pass, Blewett Pass, and Snoqualmie Pass.

Tumwater Canyon, which is just west of Leavenworth was blocked by vehicles stuck in the canyon. The road conditions lead to the closure of Highway 2 from that point west to Scenic, Washington in both directions, a distance of more than 40 miles.

White Pass was also closed. This meant the fastest way to access Leavenworth by road during the multi-day closures from the Seattle area was via Oregon in the Columbia Gorge, adding more than five hours to the normal drive time.

The Washington Cascades have received nearly double their usual snow totals at this point in the winter season.

Wenatchee Also With Record Snow

The city of Wenatchee, which is in a drier and lower elevation location, 22 miles east of Leavenworth, was also pounded by snow. It recorded snowfall of nearly two feet on January 6th. According to Meteorologist Robin Fox, this is the most snow Wenatchee had received in a twenty-four-hour period since 1996.

The storm billed as ‘snowpocalpyse’ lived up to its billing in the Wenatchee Valley and North Central Washington. The storm also caused avalanches with one avalanche significantly damaging a house south of Entiat.

All of Chelan County declared a state of emergency. Chelan County Emergency Management asked that residents stay indoors. The road to the Mission Ridge ski area was also closed.

A few days after the records snowfall, the Wenatchee School District asked parents and community members to pitch in and assist in clearing snow away at schools to make them safer and help them reopen sooner.

Leavenworth Snowfall

Economic Impact

While the snow is beautiful, the economic impact isn’t. Businesses were closed for multiple days and supply lines, which already faced challenges, are facing deeper challenges. Crews used a site behind the Safeway in Leavenworth to put the snow removed.

Resources are stretched thin and resources that would normally be more accessible down-valley are also significantly impacted.

Photos and Video of the Storm

For photos of the storm, here are a few images from the Wenatchee World.

To learn about the weather conditions in Leavenworth, scroll down below for the current temperature or you can see live video views of the city and nearby attractions on our webcams page.

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