Low pressure systems with enduring rainfall predominate the northwestern coastal climate of America. Although the annual cycle displays a prominent precipitation minimum in summertime, one week on contiguous rainfall can occur any time throughout the year. The north to south aligned coastal Cascade Range with its awe-inspiring stratovolcanoes intercepts the moisture-laden air coming in from the Pacific Ocean. The air masses are forced to flow over the mountain range. The lifting causes the air to cool. Clouds condensate as soon as the temperature drops below the dew point. Further lifting leads to the onset of intense orographic induced rainfall that adds to the rainfall already falling out of the low pressure system. This nourishes lush temperate rain forests in the lowlands and glaciers on jagged peaks. After the passage of a low pressure system the moisture-laden slopes are draped in low level clouds for days causing a fairytale-like atmosphere.
Canon 20D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm, f/11, 1 sec, ISO 100, tripod