Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Snow in Bellingham and Elsewhere
The cold front has moved through and cooler air is now spreading over western Washington. Northeasterly winds have pushed through the Fraser River Valley and associated cooler, drier air has made its way into Bellingham and vicinity. Cold enough that snow is occurring at Bellingham Airport. (Look at the attached figure showing observations at Bellingham..time is in UTC (GMT). You can see the change from rain to snow and falling temps as the wind shifted to the NE.
Snow is also falling at Quillayute on the coast. Right now it is still to warm for snow over Puget Sound, but that will change by this evening. A big problem is that the NWS weather radar at Camano Island is down and won't be back up until tomorrow at the earliest...thus, we are somewhat blind to local precipitation details. The KING 5 radar is up and available on their web site.
The million dollar question is lowland snow. The temperatures will be cold enough for snow everywhere by this evening. The only question is moisture. The problem for snow lovers is the things will dry out tomorrow morning after the upper trough over us now noves through. The winds approaching the coast are now southwesterly...leaving much of the central sound rain shadowed right now, with the convergence zone over Whidbey Island into Bellingham (see Canadian radar image). So at this point the focus of snow will be north of Everett...and later as the trough and associated low moves south tomorrow the focus of the snow will be south of Olympia. There could be some snow showers around Seattle, but no more than an inch. And lots of snow in the mountains. The 24-h snow forecast from the high resolution model is attached.
I really wish I had a coastal radar now to see more into a band that is now making landfall.. perhaps in the future.
Posted by Cliff Mass at 3:07 PM