As far as snow lovers are concerned, the last cold spell here in the Northwest was a wasted opportunity.
Now, we get to try it again.
On late Tuesday/early Wednesday a cold front will move through, with modified Arctic air behind it. Here is the surface chart at 10 PM on Wednesday.
But our day of snow may be coming...
By Thursday at 4 PM another front, a strong warm front, will be approaching the Northwest (see graphic). Cold air is still over the Northwest (blue colors), and note the very warm air (orange colors) behind the warm front.
Well, here is what the UW model suggests. I will start with the model 3-h snowfall amounts for several times starting at 10 PM (0600 UTC) Thursday. At that time, snow reaches the Olympics, the north Cascades and the Strait of Juan de Fuca at sea level.
How reliable is this forecast? A number of model runs have suggested this scenario...the snow is not a transient solution. Other modeling systems have also suggested snow. The cold air is sure thing. The warm front is a sure thing. Starting as snow is highly probable. That it will turn to rain on Friday is sure thing. How much snow in the AM is less reliable. The models tend to mix out cold air too fast, so the tendency would be for more rather than less snow before the rain begins.
It appears that the morning commute on Friday might be messy. Stay tuned as we get closer. In my next blog we will turn to the high-resolution ensemble forecasts for more guidance.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
― Winston Churchill