weather and climate

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Earlier this year, a strange milky rain fell across eastern Washington, Oregon, and northern Idaho. There was a lot of speculation about what caused it: volcanic ash, lake sediment, forest fires, even dust from Nevada.

Now, scientists at Washington State University say they’ve solved the mystery. The key clues? Salt and wind patterns.

louelke / Flickr

It was a warm winter in the Northwest this year. It certainly rained, and it was plenty gray, but there wasn’t much snow. And that means low snowpack. The Washington Department of Ecology says Washington snowpack is at 21 percent of normal levels.

Several high mountain passes in the Northwest are set to have historically-early openings this year due to low snowpack.

The daffodils and tulips are up and so are hungry black bears. Our unseasonably mild winter is bringing black bears out of hibernation earlier than usual.

Last week a dusty rain coated cars and windows across eastern Washington, Oregon and north Idaho.

Last Friday much of eastern Washington and Oregon was pelted with a dirty rain, but so far scientists do not agree on a cause.