Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Precipitation Today

Lets examine what happened yesterday and then move to today's situation. Although the forecasts were not perfect, they did get a great deal correct. Looking at a range of reports (and I very much thank those of you who provided snowfall amounts), there was roughly 3.5 to 8 inches for the communities adjacent to central Puget Sound, while 6-15 inches occurred over Kitsap and neighboring westwide communities. Less snow--2 to 6 occurred over the east side. So the amounts in Seattle and immediately north and south were right on and the predicted east-west snow gradient was apparent, but was less than forecast (the Kitsap had less and the eastside had more than predicted). This is consistent with wind evolution as we will see.

Now lets talk about the winds. First, this was never going to be a general windstorm...from the first it a downslope wind event on the western slopes of the Cascades and a gap flow event over the Strait. The strong winds verified in the Strait and there were strong winds near the western foothills...sustained 30-40 mph, with gusts to 70. But the strong winds were not as extensive as our best local models suggested...even when we had a historic pressure difference across the mountains. That difference...17.3 millibars between Seattle and Yakima...was the highest I have seen in 30 years. The winds in Snoqualmie pass were fierce and closed down the pass. Anyway, the weaker easterly winds contributed to higher snowfall on the east side of Puget Sound and less snow on the western portion. I could go on about this...but my colleagues and I will try to understand this forecast error.

One issue I didn't mention was the freezing rain. During the event, warmer air was moving in aloft, while cold air was maintained at the surface. The temperatures several thousand feet up got above freezing, resulting in rain falling into the cold air below--particularly south of Snohomish County. The result was freezing rain as the rain was cooled as it fell into colder air below. Thus, there is a crust on the beautiful fluffy snow we had last night.

Several of you commented about the nature of the snow last night. Most of you are used to the large, dendritic crystals that fall when temperatures are near freezing...our usual situation. Last night you got to enjoy the type of snow they get in colder climates.

What about today? More precipitation is coming. Another system is now moving into our area (see satellite picture) and the radar shows the precipitation moving in from the north and northwest (see radar). Rain, occasionally heavy, has moved into the coast...and Shelton has reported snow and ice pellets.

I REALLY wish we had a coastal weather radar to see the details of this approaching system...it would very much help (see my link on the right about this issue). This afternoon and early evening, the precipitation will spread over us...and the big question is: will it be snow, freezing rain, or rain? The problem is that temperatures are now marginal for snow..in fact there are above freezing temperature above Puget Sound now. Temperatures will begin to cool aloft this afternoon and temperatures can be cooled by the melting of heavy precipitation. If the moisture falls as snow, we could have 3-4 more inches. The NWS is now angling towards snow and the computer models suggest a good chance of snow over Kitsap (which there will upslope on the Olympics) and light snow north of Sea Tac. But we are on the edge and there is considerable uncertainty. At this point, I would lean towards wet snow this afternoon north of Seattle-Tacoma, with a "wintry" mix to the south. But there is considerable uncertainty about this.

123 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your hard work, Cliff.

My husband and I grew up in the midwest and were so pleased to see the sparkly cold weather snow! My kids had never seen it sparkle before.

cp said...

Thanks Cliff, you are really feeding my inner weather geek. I'm looking forward to see what happens during the Seahawks game. The first time this season i've said that. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you and your grad students et al will have fun with this event for a long time figuring out why it did what it did. I'm also glad I had power to watch via this blog on the storms progress. Thanks for making this available, it was a fun experience. Now we need a quick thaw so it won't wreck the holidays.

Anonymous said...

As a native Seattleite, I'm on a steep learning curve...What might the potential freezing rain do this afternoon to the roads already tough with compact snow? Would it melt the snow? Bounce off? Stick and become ice? Is driving this afternoon/evening a really bad idea no matter what, or are we still in a wait and see zone?

Anonymous said...

Would be nice if those two coastal weather radar stations are somebody's 'stimulus' wish list. Seems like a better bang for the buck than solar panels at the Qwest stadium event center in Seattle!

Meghan said...

This blog is super fun! We got about 5.5 inches in Crown Hill where I live, complete with crispy icy coating, like a soft serve dipped in chocolate magic shell at Dairy Queen. I haven't had this much relaxing time off in years. I'm loving it.

YEOMALT STATION said...

Yeomalt Cabin - Bainbridge Island:
Wind - calm, as it has been for 24 hrs; 34 degrees; very light snow now, with 6" accumulation between 2:30pm yesterday and 8:00am this morning with light crusting.
-------------------
Yeomalt Station is at my Yeomalt Cabin - Location: http://www.maplandia.com/united-states/washington/kitsap-county/yeomalt/

Yeomalt Station is very near Camp Yeomalt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Yeomalt

"Yeomalt" is a geographic place name which stems from the Lushootseed
dialect of Coast Salish word "Yeboa'lt" ("ya'boq" or "fight"), Anglicized and spelled "Yeomalt.." 20 The name refers to the legend of a fight between South Wind and North Wind that reminded canoe voyagers of the treacherous waters near the point. (from - http://www.biparks.org/parks/documents/Yeomalt%20History.pdf)

Bill said...

Cliff, I appreciate your expert observations and take on the weather. You're my first source to find out what coming our way. Here in Coupeville it is hard to find a weather forecast that gives us a heads up. About 6-7 inches of snow. Winds brought down some branches last night. As I look across Admiralty Inlet; whitecaps on the water and Sequim is getting a sun break.

Thanks again for your hard work.

Bill

athos said...

What about the east of puget sound, like Redmond, Sammamish, etc.

Saara said...

Well, I woke up with a real sense of relief that the wind models were wrong for our area of eastern Skagit County. Our last big event was in Dec. 2006 and we spent a significant amount of time chainsawing ourselves out of that one.
Since we haven't even experienced so much as a light breeze this time, I am curious as to how there were 50 knot gusts predicted. It's nice to have had a good night's sleep instead of listening to the wind barreling down the mountain so I'm not complaining!
We have about 2 feet of snow accumulated and more coming in tiny flakes. 28.4F. Thank you for this blog and your weekly updates on KUOW. :)

epjmcginley said...

Oyster Bay - (sea level)
we received 8" of snow between noon yesterday and end of snow in the night. A crust of ice on top.
Lots of snow on the tree branches.
It has been above freezing since before sunrise. 35.6 degrees.

The most striking thing for me in this storm was the snow fall on the mud of the sound at low tide. At its peak there were several inches of snow clear to the low low tide mark last night. A beautiful sight to behold, with the trickling stream of fresh water reaching out to the distant salt water through an expanse of deep white snow.

Anonymous said...

My family has enjoyed listening to you on NPR and now following your blog. Ditto the comments about the roads - is this ice going to be a reason to not go to friends/family homes? How dangerous will the roads be?

Anna Olive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

We're in Des Moines and it just started snowing here. Our thermometer says 29 degrees.

We'd estimate we got 4+ inches yesterday/last night.

Anonymous said...

Reporting from southern tip of Maury Island, we had only a few inches to start the day yesterday. Snow began around 3 yesterday and never stopped through last night. This am we awoke to 7 inches total and the half inch a sheet of ice. Snow is falling now-will it last until Christmas?

Julia said...

Union Mills (Lacey) area, 160-280 ft above sea level: about ten inches of new snow yesterday, on top of four which fell Wednesday; a quarter inch or so of ice having fallen after midnight. Currently 30.8F and raining.

The last storm I remember which had big accumulations and low temperatures over a long stretch of days was the winter of 1971 or 72 (I was a sophomore in college but can't remember if it was before or after the new year). There had been a base of 6" typical Cascade Concrete that fell in a single event, and then an inch or so a night of the fine crystalline powder every night for a week or so: very pretty, terribly inconvenient.

We had to drive out yesterday for food and gasoline, and I noticed the same gradation of snow depth as was typical of my bus route in high school: the divide between the Woodland Creek and McAllister Creek drainages is also a sharp divide between snowfall amounts, with the NE facing McAllister Creek drainage having as much as four inches more.

Do you know of any links that discuss the great blizzard of the late forties?

epsilon said...

Newcastle - South Bellevue, 560' elev, snow just began falling at 1120 am, increasing amount now. Mix of small and medium flat flakes, drifting slowly down in still air.

christopher said...

Snowing steadily, small flakes, and 30 here on top of Pioneer Hill in Poulsbo near Bangor. Not exactly sure of elevation- probably between 500-800 ft. Accumulations already at 8-9 inches.

Anonymous said...

Snowing hard in South Lake Union!

SeaRod said...

Not on first hill yet

theartist said...

The new system moving in appears much more energetic than even a few hours ago. It seems less like "showers" and more like another round of consistent snow for several hours.

Precip observations appear impressive out on the coast already. Snowfall may be on the upper end of the 2 to 4 inch forecast, with higher accumulations in some places.

cp said...

Started snowing in the Haller Lake area of Seattle about 5 minutes ago, big flakes transitioning to smaller flakes.

Anonymous said...

We're getting some freezing rain/light snow on the west hill of Auburn/eastern Federal Way right now. It's 31 degrees. We got about 7 inches of new snow between 2:45 and 12am yesterday, followed by a crust of freezing rain. There were a few gusts of wind on the higher hills, but pretty calm either than that. I see the icicles on our street lamp fell last night also.

Thanks for the blog Cliff. I've loved obsessing about the weather.

nocurling said...

snowing and blowing in tumwater, but no snow or wind 5 miles east in east olympia.

Cattmandoo said...

It just started snowing in downtown Olympia - large wet flakes. Current temp at our house is 32.

Michele said...

We are getting big white flakes in shoreline near Hamlin Park. We had about 7 inches from overnight. Flakes are actually getting smaller as i type.

Anonymous said...

Reporting from Hollywood Hill, Woodinville. 8" of drifted snow, topped with very thin crusty coating. Winds were gusty last night, maybe 20-25 knotts. Currently 28 degrees and no precip.

love this blog

JewelyaZ said...

Snowing hard again in the Phantom Lake area of Bellevue at 210' elevation, less than half a mile from the west edge of Lake Sammamish.

I hope we melt out in the next couple of days. It's pretty, but I'm getting stir-crazy and the branches are so heavy with snow that I can't help but wonder if they won't do the power lines in after all, after we dodged the strong-winds bullet.

Anonymous said...

flurries starting to kick up in rainier valley

Fran said...

it's 11:44 am and it's snowing in the Central District.

-Fran

Anonymous said...

I just shoveled and swept the sidewalk. I hope it doesn't ice over today. No good deed goes unpunished.

Laurel said...

Just started snowing here on S. Whidbey near Freeland. There's a little wind--nothing exceptional yet. The sky seems to be brightening--nothing resembling rain here. We're a little less than a mile from Useless Bay. I'm interested in hearing updates about Shoreline, Edmonds, Mukilteo roads and weather if anyone would care to share.

Timothy said...

Snow starting here in Ravenna Bryant area.

I have been out in the white stuff since 6 AM this morning, reveling in the cold and snow. But I have also noticed subtle warming trends that get icicles melting, then just as quickly stopping.

My amateur assessment from this morning's shoveling is this is perfect snow for someone to hurt their back--

But my professional take on the snow is that this is 5 STAR quality snow ball weather-- if you break under the crust of ice on the top layer.

And we have artists of all ages making large, medium and small snowmen. Did I mention the amazing snow angels flying around Ravenna Eckstein playground?

As someone who watches nature, I saw my first snow centipede crawling across a park bench yesterday. It must have been 2 feet long. Stood really still while I was watching it, trying to use it's body color to camouflage itself. But I saw it!

Anyone else see some unusual snow animals?

best fishes,

Timothy Colman

Anonymous said...

Olalla: Light snow, starting about half an hour ago (now 12 noon). Went out to take snow pictures, heard a drip which turned to be off an icicle on the corner of the roof. Sure enough, temp. up to 31. Didn't actually go out into the snow to see if it's crusty. My wife said it had stopped snowing by 11 last night; looks like 5-6 inches new snow.

- Pete

Laurel said...

Hey Cliff, I'm sure you are aware of this picture from noaa--it's one I look at all the time and try to figure out the weather with--I don't understand the color coding on it though! http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/nepac/loop-ir2.html (I'm sending you the loop I like looking at)

Anonymous said...

It just starting "pelting" in Olympia a few minutes ago. It is lightly pinging off the windows. There is about 6 new inches from last night (it snowed from about noon until 11pm, and then stopped until just now), with a fairly substantial ice crust on top.

David said...

Queen Anne at noon, light snow.

Forty years ago we would get an event like this once or twice a year.

cornbread said...

There is really light small snow blowing in the wind here in Maple Valley. 28 degrees.

Winds last night were pretty mellow, quite a relief.

There is a nice crust of ice on the snow that my dog can't get enough of crunching it in her mouth. The whole world has become a crunchy treat for her.

cary_collins said...

Cliff, thanks for your blog and I enjoyed updating Maple Valley last night. I am really relieved that the wind turned out to be a little less than predicted. I don't think you were that far off on the wind, however, other than the intensity in some of the gap areas (Maple Valley) was less than the upper ends predicted. But most of the wind prediction was pretty close. North Bend and Enumclaw and Cumberland all saw those high gusts and the winds remained pretty sustained here all night. And Cumberland got a reported 100 MPH blast. Anyway, I don't think the winds were that far away from the predicted, if carefully analyzed. As you and your students do that, it would be interesting to know what kept down the wind in traditional windy generators such as Maple Valley. Again, thanks for all your great work!!

Anonymous said...

Issaquah Plateau - Klahanie neighborhood - pretty significant snow started again within the past hour....

Anonymous said...

Just confirming what the poster said about Olympia.

Wanna thank you Cliff. But more importantly, I WANT TO THANK ALL THE POSTERS FOR THEIR INFORMATION AND STORIES!

THAT is what is making this blog, so dang much fun!

Molly said...

It is snowing lightly near Hwy 9 and Maltby Road. There's about 9inches on the ground currently. Lots of birds and squirrels coming to dine. I was happiest to see one of our native squirrels show up to get her share. Those big, grey eastern squirrles like to dominate, so it is good to see 'our' squirrels show a little spunk.

And Thank You Cliff for serving this region so intelligently, and for providing a forum for info exchange.

Anonymous said...

heavy snow falling west hill auburn. Half inch accumulation so far.

Kari Kopnick said...

Really snowing now in South Renton. We shoveled out once, and will need to go out again. Wow, what a snow!

Sno Valley Girl said...

It just started snowing in Carnation. Larger flakes this time, pretty heavy. Absolutely beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Steady snow falling in Duvall now. Warmed up to 27 degrees.

Can't wait to hear more analysis and predictions.

cornbread said...

Snow is heavy on Lake wilderness in Maple valley now. A white out with the wind, visibilty is about 100 feet for the moment.

Mela said...

Heavy snow falling in Fremont.

cary_collins said...

Maple Valley is getting a pretty solid snow at 12:30 PM. Still breezy here, so swirling quite a bit with fairly large flakes.

Anonymous said...

Lakewood/Steilacoom/backside of N Ft Lewis

Just started a NE snow fall about 20 minutes ago. The eaves are dripping from melted snow, and my back deck temp is 33.

Anonymous said...

East Woodinville, elev 500ft -
snowing hard, samll to medium size flakes, 31 degrees, east-ish wind around 10mph

nocurling said...

snowed briefly here in east olympia. lasted maybe 20 minutes. temp is now 37* at 200' elevation.

Anonymous said...

it's heavily snowing big white typical Puget Sound flakes here on the South end of Bainbridge Island and has been for about an hour
Thanks for all the reporting and analysis

theReferee said...

Yesterday: "This will be a very major event...but I suspect sustained 35-45 mph and gusts to 60-70 mph will end up closer to the truth. Very strong easterly winds (sustained 40- 50 mph) occur in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There will be power outages."

Today: "I could go on about this...but my colleagues and I will try to understand this forecast error."

You weren't *that* far off, although those of us in metropolitan Seattle area were braced for something more than the very light breezes we got. I actually took my flashlight out and put it on the counter, just in case.

Weather prediction as a science, especially in this region, is very imperfect. I'm glad you admit that the models definitely gave incorrect perceptions as far as strong winds.

Until presented with evidence otherwise, as a long time
Seattle-area resident who has cancelled many trips and activities due to overly-dramatic and overly-pessimistic (and mostly incorrect) weather predictions, I am convinced that the reports and models are biased towards making the weather seem worse than it turns out to be.

The number of times we say "the weather turned out better than predicted," outnumbers, by it seems like 9-to-1, the times we are surprised by worse than predicted weather (which hardly ever happens.)

Weather people have more to lose if citizens are unprepared or get stuck out in bad conditions so they protect themselves with overly pessimistic reports.

Because of this, we have to adjust what we hear from the reports and models accordingly.

Scott said...

POST YOUR SOLSTICE STORM 2008 PHOTOS!

SOLSTICE STORM 2008
Kudos to whomever coined the phrase earlier!

Use the links at the top to post photos and download them. Change the view style at the bottom.

You can also send your photos via email as an attachment or from your iPhone to elliotts-3tf4@post.me.com

Make sure to label your photos so we know where they came from!

Feel free to comment back if this doesn't work. I just got married a month ago and we've had so much fun making our website for our wedding that I'm learning all the joys of creating them!

Best,
Scott

pam said...

It is snowing pretty hard here in Lynnwood-big flakes. Very pretty.

Science Teacher said...

About 12:30 here in Maple Valley (Elev. ~560 ft). It snowed pretty hard just a short time ago. At times the snow was blowing completely sideways (est. 20-25+ mph). It's still hovering between 27 and 28 degrees.

We're amazed we didn't lose power last night during the strongest winds. I suspect that's a combination of PSE's tree maintenance efforts, the smaller/lighter snow flakes, and just sheer luck. Either way, we are happy we could enjoy the storm/blizzard while staying nice and warm.

The snow total (3-4 inches) isn't the story here; It's the foot-plus drifts that formed around the house. We just don't see this kind of thing with our typical wet, heavy lowland snow.

How quickly things change...it's beginning to snow again and the flakes are quite large this time. Must be warming up since I last looked...

Ian said...

Heavy snow in Redmond

Anonymous said...

Sunset Beach, between Coupeville and Oak Harbor, the sun has come out, but can see the new front approaching. We had a couple of inches of new snow last night, but have had strong gusty winds from the East since about 10:30 p.m. last night and they are continuing today. Thanks for this great blog!

Anonymous said...

About 12:50 PM, and it is snowing pretty heavily in Ballard. We got about 8" last night, with a 1/8 -1/4" "shell" of ice on top. It's a winter wonderland outside right now :-) Too bad it's also a total pain in the ass...

Anonymous said...

Poulsbo/Suquamish: Just went for a long walk with the dog. Fine mist of snow falling rapidly (straight down, w/ very little wind). I estimate about 8" of snow on the ground here. The major roads near our house (Columbia, Lincoln) look to be a-okay. The temperatures aren't cold enough to freeze them into ice...kind of like driving on thick mud. Saw a number of trucks/SUVs travelling at about 10/mph below normal speeds. Also saw one sedan w/ chains tooling around happily.

Derek in Renton said...

Snowing in Renton right now. There were big flakes a little bit ago, but we're getting small sparklies right now. It's 27f here, down from 28 earlier.

I haven't been out in it yet, but it doesn't appear to have developed a crust. I can't comment on the amounts we got last night, as it fell on top of residual snow from Thursday. I can say it was several inches, and the conditions were whiteout at times, near whiteout at others.

Stephanie said...

Columbia City: snow has turned heavy as of 1pm, alternating between big fluffy flakes that almost float to the ground, and smaller/wetter flakes coming down fast and on an angle. It *is* beautiful. But I really wonder how I'm going to get to the airport for a midday flight tomorrow...

*Love* the Solstice Storm tag, btw. Kudos to the blogger who coined it:-)

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen any West Seattle updates so here's one from near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal: 3-4" of new snow last night with the crust that everyone else is reporting; on top of the snow from Thursday's storm, we have nearly a foot in places. Around 11:20 it started snowing again, big white flakes that were falling heavily at times. Within the last 15 minutes it's changed to fine flakes that seem to be mixed with sleet. The temp has remained constant at 32.4 for the last few hours. Lots of people are out with sleds and snowshoes, and the roads (so far) don't look too bad. I can see cars passing on Fauntleroy, and an SUV made it up the steep hill by my house.

As I'm writing the snow has changed back to bigger flakes again... very pretty!

serial catowner said...

West of Belfair, on the Tahuya Peninsula, we had about ten inches cumulative- since then another two inches have been added. Snowing steadily right now.

Appreciate the reports from north Kitsap, as the highway department does not have any road cams on Route 3.

Scott said...

POST YOUR SOLSTICE STORM 2008 PHOTOS!

SOLSTICE STORM 2008
Kudos to whomever coined the phrase earlier!

This is in so many ways a one time event! Can't remember in the last 30 years we've had this much sustained lovely snow on the ground. Ok, so no winds, thanks God!

I'm out to take more photos here in Olympia, will post more in an hour!

Thanks to those that have posted! Great to see em! (the dog looks happy!)

Cheers,
Scott

JewelyaZ said...

It is DUMPING big white flakes here in Bellevue now, with smaller flakes mixed in too. Temp is exactly 32 (and the flakes are smaller than when this precip started with a 34-degree temp). Thanks for the info on what made the smaller, sparkly snow flakes for us yesterday. :-)

My question is for Cliff: what's up with the UW Probcast being so clearly wrong today? http://probcast.washington.edu/?param=MAXT2&plotSize=medium&units=degF&init=00&tau=48&dimension=grid&plotType=deterministic&zipCode=98008&MapType=&snapToNearestZip=true For my ZIP, they guess a high of 40 with a range of 37 to 43. I slept a few hours last night :-) but the highest temp I've seen since midnight is 34.4F and it dropped back down pretty quickly after that... I think it was above freezing for about three hours. The Probcast is usually so accurate for our neighborhood; what is it about this weather pattern that's got it flummoxed?

Thanks for all your great work. My husband thinks I should read the blog less and play in the snow more but I'm an always-cold lizard and I'm having more fun this way!

Jim Terry said...

Thanks Cliff... great blog... this is really interesting stuff, and I love how reading back I was able to see how you predicted stuff more accurately than many of the TV stations. I will keep tuned in in the future!

For what it's worth, I'm about 3 miles NNE of Monroe at about 400' elevation and we have in excess of 18" on the ground from snow events beginning Friday Dec. 12 and continuing now (snowing here now). It blew pretty hard here last night as well but thankfully only a couple of trees down not hitting houses (or power lines!)

DebbieTT said...

We have about 8 inches in Kingston while the snow continues to fall. Picturesque photo ops!

JCRN said...

1:25 PM report from Greenlake/Phinney: Large flakes falling presently at an angle that suggests a slight easterly breeze. About 4" accumulation overnight. Thanks Cliff for the explanation as to why the snow was crusty this morning. My 17 month-old son had trouble stomping through it. Neverhteless, he is fascinated by the snow.
I just wonder if we can get back to a normal routine in the coming days. I can't imagine staying off work for any more time!

Anonymous said...

Cougar Mountain the snow is coming down hard and heavy right now. For once I am going get to use my snowshoes without driving to Snoqaulmie Pass to do it!

Thanks to Cliff and everyone for all the updates.

Anonymous said...

Bothell, 300 ft elev, near the county line:

I accurately measured 10" total accumulation in a non-drift area with overnight snow of 4" in one previously shoveled spot and 5" in another spot.

Light snow started at 12:15. No wind.

We've discussed the possibility of moving Christmas to the weekend if various family members can't get around. I really hope it warms up by Wednesday.

Maureen said...

Still very gusty here in Downtown Snoqualmie, and snowing hard. We've got drifts outside our home that are 3-4 FEET high. I haven't seen that since I left Utah.

Elizabeth said...

Cliff - thank you for this blog - you've made this an enjoyable event to watch. Thanks to the others who have posted their reports.
Sunset Hill report:
80 ft. elevation. Currently 34, down from 35 degrees just 30 minutes ago. Light snow is falling now - very small flakes. In spite of several flurries that have come through, no measurable snow has accumulated on top of our 6 inches.

Spent several hours this morning skiing around the west side of Ballard. Up to Sunset Hill Park, down to the marina, up to Golden Gardens Park and on to North Beach. Most of the time we had good vistas of the sound and Kitsap Peninsula and bands of snow that kept rolling across the sound. Snow started and stopped three times while we were out and each time the snow was different - big fat flakes, then small, then fat flakes again. Quite the ice crust on top of the snow.

I’d never seen this before: At the Shilshole marina, the water was frozen - just enough to catch snow. Spectular. A lot of fresh water runs into the marina from the hill above, especially at the northend. There was more ice at the northend of the marina.

Sno Valley Grirl said...

Light snow in Carnation and the temperature has dropped 3 degrees. dead calm. I'm poised and ready for MORE SNOW!

Anonymous said...

Olympia - heavy snow with big flakes. Currently 30 degrees.

Anonymous said...

HI folks - Any idea when the East / ESE winds are forecast to stop blowing at SeaTac? I'd really like to get outta here!!! Janet

Anonymous said...

I hope this snow shuts down Seattle for another week because I dont want to work!

epjmcginley said...

Oyster Bay - (sea level)
35 degrees
big flakes of snow falling steadily
lots of heavy wet snow on the ground

epsilon said...

Newcastle - South Bellevue, 560' elev. Steadily increasing fall during last 2 hours. Now heavy, wet, large flakes falling fast. Wow.

bpm2000 said...

seattle CD snowing heavily, small pinky-nail sized flakes.

Sno Valley Girl said...

Haevey snow in Carnation. Back to little flakes. Down from 33 to 28 degrees.

Anonymous said...

Our chimney is blocked - with ice I assume. It's a gas fireplace and we had it on all evening yesterday. We tried turning it on this afternoon and noticed the gas smell. After turning off the fire, I checked to make sure we had the vent open and realized there was no draft. Wonder how long this will take to melt? Still snowing on est hill of Auburn.

LakeForestParker said...

Snowing pretty hard in southwest Lake Forest Park/Sheridan Heights area for the past hour+. My friend came over to help shovel my driveway and got his car stuck on the road in front of the house. So he's shoveling his car out instead. I grew up in Spokane where driving in snow is no big deal, but I don't think I'm going to attempt it today.

Jamie on BI said...

Started snowing again on Bainbridge around Noon or so (depending on precise area). Coming down steady now, we have ~7.5" on our deck, almost all of it from last night and today.

Cliff, thanks for all your updates and explanations. Any tidbits you have for Bainbridge and north Kitsap are welcome. I'm helping manage a barnfull of horses who've been cooped up now for days.

lee p. said...

Dear Santa:

Please deliver coastal radar to Cliff Mass.

thank you,

Ethan Yarbrough said...

Big wet snow flakes falling in Canyon Park (south Snohomish County). Has been falling for the last hour or so. Great blog, by the way. Very interesting and informative.

Lotsa snow in Maple Leaf said...

NE Seattle -- 500 ft. Snowing for two hours, on top of 7 inches from last night. God, it's so pretty.

So thankful the worst didn't happen, but the dire forcasts got everyone off their butts and into the grocery stores. Now there's no reason to get in the car!

Derek M. said...

Cliff, I'll echo everyone else and say thanks for creating a great blog and giving us a better understanding of our local weather.

You mentioned in an earlier post that "This is certainly one of the most sustained cold periods in recent memory". Could some this sustained cold period be partially explained by Pacific Decadal Oscillation? From what I understand, we are at the beginning of the "cold" side of the oscillation. I didn't live here thirty years I don't have a frame of reference to the weather of the past.

azure said...

In Lake Forest Park, been snowing steadily since noon. A little after 2pm, it looked more like rain, maybe that wintry mix?

Jamie on BI said...

2:25 PM, winds seem to be picking up here a bit. What about other places?

Kevin Purcell said...

Yes, Probcast does seem to have some "issues" with this sort of weather but if you look at the WRF-GFS 4km surface temperature plot for 1pm today you see green (36F to 40F) and light gray (32F to 36F) all over the WWA lowlands and the SW WA interior. The only lowland area with freezing temps is around Portland (outflow from the Columbia Gorge?). But that's where probcast gets it's predictions (from an ensemble of these models).

The Boeing Field obs show warming to almost freezing before the snow arrived then a drop of 3F.

Even though the current air temp is being lowered by precip I think that might not last much longer. The fluffy snow on CapHill has changed to thinner (wetter) snow. Is it transitioning to freezing rain/sleet?

Scott K said...

Report from lake stevens. The radars show moderate precipitation over our area right now, but it's barely snowing lightly outside. We still have breezy winds here and I'm thinking that might be zapping the moisture out of the air before it gets here. Our temps have dropped a degree or two since late morning though.

I was really hoping for more snow, but I fear our wind is going to keep it away.

Janine said...

I live in North Seattle near The Crest cinema and there is a snowdrift outside my door that is over two foot tall. It's been snowing since about 11.30 this morning in varying degrees, though heavier over the past hour. We've got maybe an inch accumulation over last night's 7 inches I measured. Let it snow!

Scott K said...

Of course, right when I finish typing the above post it's starts to snow much harder.

Anonymous said...

Light dry small snow falling on the west side of W Seattle, 250ft asl, then stops and now is falling again. The ceiling is lifting a bit over the Sound and Blake and the south end of Bainbridge is now in view. The snow flakes on TV via the Seahawks game look much bigger and wetter than here.

Lindsey said...

Don't know if it's my imagination or wishful thinking, but it sure looks to me (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/cgi-bin/latest.cgi?ir4km) when I look at the latest satellite photo that this thing is moving very slowly.

Someone suggested that the temps are trying to warm up and might well succeed. Maybe. Based on this excerpt from the current NWS Discussion, I think the odds are that it won't warm up to rain for most of the Puget Sound I-5 corridor: A surface low will sink southeast
well off the coast today and tonight...keeping cool east and then
northeast flow at the surface locked in. In addition...a middle-level
low center will drop southeast and be centered directly over western Washington
tonight.

Anonymous said...

Snowing steadily in Lake Forest Park for the past several hours. Just back from a trip to Home Depot - what was I thinking? Ballinger Way is down to four grooves and if you slip out of your two, it could be trouble. The roads are very bad and there are few people out except at the Old Kellogg school where about 100 people are sledding along the big slope in the field. We are at a foot of snow at my house and it is 38 degrees. Still beautiful, quiet, and peaceful.

Anonymous said...

NWS issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect until 4am Monday

An additional 3-6 inches expected. 8 inches possible in a few isolated areas.

Anonymous said...

Mill Creek Highlands -- it's been snowing steadily harder for over 2 hours now. We've given up the shoveling. Over yesterday evening and last night we got about 6", with an additional 1" since noonish today when the flurries started. Our thermometer says 34 deg, but it's inside the front porch. I might subtract a degree.

Anonymous said...

Location: 3 miles south of Sultan, Snohomish County, elevation 400 feet.

Conditions: increasing snow; 6" accumulation in 24 hours. 27 degrees. No wind.

Anonymous said...

I measured 6" here in Silverdale this morning. I just came in from outside and so far we've had another inch today. Still snowing very steadily, no wind to speak of.

AJ said...

It's coming down as snow here in downtown Tacoma. It looks like about 6" total, so far. Was very glad to hear of the limited power outages!

Bruce said...

As of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, the pile of snow on a table outside my house on Queen Anne is at 17 cm (just shy of 7 in).

Kenna Wickman said...

Still coming down here fast and furious in Kingston. Been snowing all day. We have about 8-9" - more in places where the snow started to drift a little last night. The snow is the perfect type for snow people and snowball fights. Also easy to shovel.

Scott said...

Posted some pictures from the state capitol in Olympia. Half of Capitol Lake is frozen. 4PM now and still snowing like mad!

SOLSTICE STORM 2008

Post your photos for other to see!

Anonymous said...

It's been fun & everything but I'm ready for it to stop...I have Christmas shopping to do!

Dan said...

27 degrees F and snowing at a high point in Lynnwood - flakes were a bit larger a few hours ago, but they're getting more settled as smaller flakes, falling from the east. Not much wind, but some light gusts to keep things lively.

Earlier today we definitely warmed up, though, as the dry powder I woke to (and drove to work in! a youth pastor hoping for a snow day!) was markedly more wet around noon.

thanks again Cliff and all for your work!

Julia said...

Union Mills, again- stopped raining shortly after I posted and then snow began falling about an hour or so ago; almost two inches new accumulation (cleaning the porch does give one a sort of a gauge) and snowing hard, current temperature 29.7.

snowlover! said...

Still trying to understand Sammamish and what happens with weather here. I'm watching Quest field right now (4:30) and it's DUMPING there. We have the same blob on the radar over us, and yet, almost nothing is coming down.

Is there something that "blocks" Sammamish from this stuff as the fronts move through from the south? We are right against the ridge (eg, can see the lake from the top), but just not sure if it's the lake or what. If Seattle is getting snow, we should too, no?

Matthew said...

Out here in Seabeck-near the Hood Canal-it has been snowing all day. The snow has fallen as small, cold-air flakes consistently all day and the temperature has remained at right around the freezing mark. I would say about 10 inches since it began falling yesterday afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Just measured here in West Seattle, Gatewood area...9" on back table...sure there was some drift last night too. About 2" on top of the thin ice layer fell today so far...
This is just crazy. And, kinda a wonderful respite from life. Ha.

Kristina said...

It just doesn't seem to stop! It has been snowing all afternoon in West Seattle, and I can't say I've ever seen this type of weather in Seattle before. Usually, it dumps, then it melts, then it's gone. Sometimes it dumps, then it freezes, then it sticks for a while, and THEN it's gone...but a week of snowing? That, I am unfamiliar with.

We spent the day sledding, with cocoa warm-ups. I feel grateful to have my five year old's Christmas presents safely stowed in the attic, because I don't need to drive anywhere.

Cliff, LOVE your blog. Thanks!

Matt said...

It snowed a dry, powdery snow intermittently here in Kitsap County, 2 miles west of Indianola at a few hundred feet elevation, all morning. The intermittent snow became steady at around 1pm, and since 2pm the rate of snowfall has definitely picked up.

2 inches of new accumulation since 9am today. And I can't quite tell, but it seems as if the snow in the last half an hour or so has started to get more wet, though the flakes are still quite small, not the big, clumped flakes we normally see here. But man, it is really coming down now!

Anonymous said...

We're at about 9 inches in Silverdale now. And it's still snowing.

Anonymous said...

We've been getting snow in sammamish steadily all day long. Big flakes, about 5" accumulation.

nocurling said...

very little snow in the air now in east olympia, and no wind. afternoon accumulation is about 1-2". temperature has risen by a degree in the past hour to 32.1*.

cornbread said...

still snowing in maple valley

Anonymous said...

Over a foot of snow total on Bainbridge Island... still snowing lightly.

snowlover said...

So it must be along the ridge of sammamish that things are lighter -- assume the wind off the hill moves it inward? We certainly have not seen 5" of accumulation here in Timberline. Not near that much today. Overnight sure, but not during the day. 1-2" maybe.

St. Erik said...

This is a great blog, thanks Cliff!
I live in Bellevue, on a low hill in Bridle Trails, and it has been snowing almost nonstop since noon or so. Tracks I left in 7 inches of unmelted snow Friday are now gone. It's go to be 10 inches deep out there. We're getting dumped on here and it's STILL SNOWING! WOW!!

Bob Moore said...

Hi, Cliff and Comment Community,

I tried to post a long comment here sometime between 3 pm and 4 pm (I think) and now I don't see it, although when I checked the comments, mine was there at the bottom left, colored yellow.

I gave a very detailed site description for our lot in SE Lake Forest Park with 'lake and mtn views' and possible snowfall angles, in hopes that this would assist Cliff and other experts in calibrating my data reports. (I'm a retired UW Mathematics prof, with major interests in physics, computer science, environmental science, and mathematical modeling in science and engineering, so I have some idea about what Cliff needs to know, and how challenging his work is...)

Then, I reported our overall snowfall accumulation (5-6") with 1-2" since 10 am and about 3" above the ice layer.

Finally, I mentioned "plant rescue"
(cleaning icy snow off of our "heavenly[?] bamboo" but with 2 broken stems) and recommended that other blog-readers rescue plants on their own lots and neighborhood parks, trails, and street-dividers, with a closing remark about rescuing our sister species with which we share the planet, and punchline "Yes, We Can!" (So I then asked in parentheses if this was "political" or about "global warming" [which I had discussed with Cliff at a recent meeting in Kane Hall concerning possible effects of global warming on access to National Parks and Forests in Washington, where I reported that we'd been told that there will be no glaciers in Glacier National Park in Montana by 2020 if we don't mend our ways -- this really IS what Cliff asks us not to discuss here...]

So, did anybody see these comments, and if so, where and when did they go? Or if not, what might I have done wrong in posting them? Please email me at jobobmoore@gmail.com if you can help with this.

Bob Moore

Anonymous said...

Cliff, get a woman !!! Damn!!!