At 3:12 a.m. Friday, winter arrived in Seattle.
The winter solstice marks the season of rest and renewal, a quiet, dark time in which nature catches its breath.
Scientists are only now realizing, though, how climate change unleashes a cascade of effects on this season.
Here, and elsewhere around the country, while winter weather can still be ferocious — witness the storm hammering the Midwest — the long-term trend, or climate, shows winter isn't what it used to be. And more change is ahead.
At Snoqualmie Pass, the skiing right now is as great as ever. But long term?
"By 2050, there won't be any more skiing at Snoqualmie; it's over," said Cliff Mass, atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington.