WeatherWatcher: Winter Storm Warning for Shoreline, Lake Forest Park

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The National Weather Service of Seattle issued a Winter Storm Warning at 3:31 pm Tuesday for the greater Seattle-Tacoma metro area, including the cities of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. The warning is in effect from 4 AM Wednesday morning until 4 AM Thursday morning.

  • This is our second winter storm warning issued during the 2010-2011 winter season, the first one was issued on Sunday November 21st, 2010. 

  • A deepening, and stronger than expected low pressure system is sliding down the North American west coast southward, dragging arctic air out of interior British Columbia with it. 

  • Tuesday evening: off and on snow showers, may bring up to 2 inches of new snow. 

  • Wednesday: The morning commute may start off with an additional wet slushy 2 inches of snow, but do not let this fool you. By afternoon temperatures likely will drop from just above the freezing mark into the mid or low 20's, causing a "flash freeze" effect, freezing any water on roadways. As the temperature drops heavy bands of snow fall are expected to move through the area. There is even a possibility of some "thunder snow" in the late afternoon or evening commute. Moderate to heavy snow likely will continue into the night. During the day and evening an additional 1-6 inches of snow is expected. Breezy north winds may also develop. 

  • Wednesday night - Thursday morning: Snow will turn into off and on snow showers, with another 2 more inches possible. Temperatures will plummet into the mid teens to about 20 degrees.
Our total storm total could be well into 10 inches, and with possible locally heavy showers, a foot or more. I expect this storm will be much like our Thanksgiving week storm we had last fall, as it is a very similar weather pattern. The nature of this storm also makes it possible for hit or miss on the heavy snowfall, we could easily exceed a foot of snow with this storm, or only get about 3-4 inches. Temperatures will remain below freezing until Friday afternoon or Saturday afternoon. I don't think the real melt off will really kick in until Sunday or Monday morning.

A winter storm warning means severe winter weather is occurring or imminent. Those planning travel in the warned area should be prepared for hazardous winter driving conditions and plan accordingly.

For more updates and details on the warnings and watches for the area, check here.

For anyone commuting tomorrow, I strongly recommend against it at all possible costs. Unless you drive a vehicle equipped for winter weather, and are skilled at winter driving. With everyone heading to work in the morning when the weather is calm, the afternoon commute could become another repeat of last November with surprise to many at how slick the roads will be. Be careful out there for the next few days, it's not going to be pleasant driving conditions.


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