WeatherWatcher: Snow forecast still uncertain but cold is certain

Wednesday, January 10, 2024


Dusting of snow in Lake Forest Park, November 30, 2014
Photo by Carl Dinse

A dusting of snow might be all we see in the next few days, but a looming storm this weekend could change that story come Saturday afternoon through Sunday.

Cold air is starting to slowly make its way into our region bringing temperatures down to the marginal range of freezing. Showers are still around and are expected to continue through Friday. For Wednesday morning through Wednesday evening, we could see some convergence zone activity develop and bring us some rain, snow, or a mixture of both. If we see a heavier shower, it could bring us an accumulation of snow to the tune of a trace to an inch or two.

Beyond Wednesday evening, well things are still quite uncertain at that point. There has not been a lot of forecast model agreement on what comes next. I was hoping by this evening we would have a better idea, but all that is certain is that we are going to get an arctic air mass over the region. Friday through Sunday daytime temperatures will remain in the upper 20's to 30's, depending on how far west the cold air travels.

A series of storms is expected to move ashore beginning Friday, but how far south is the question. Most models now indicate that this will be a big snow event for Portland, leaving the greater Seattle area cold and dry. One model, the American GFS - this is the one I have a hard time trusting - has the storm track further north putting the Puget Sound in a heavy blanket of snow.

Bottom line: I will provide updated forecasts as needed, but now would be a good time to make sure everything is winterized and ready for a freeze and snowfall. There is potential but not a significant chance yet of heavier snowstorms (beyond just a few scattered snow showers) to move in on Friday through Sunday. 

Still way too early and uncertain to talk about any accumulations for the weekend. For the remainder of the week, we could see nothing or up to a couple of inches here and there. Daytime temperatures may be warm enough though to melt off accumulations in the afternoon hours, but anything left over will freeze overnight.

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