December 25, 2008

More snow tomorrow?

This event just doesn't end. Tonight temperatures will drop enough that wet roads...and particularly where the water is not deep..can freeze. I just walked home over some previously wet roadway..which is now frozen. Another issue today was flooding of some streets where slush and snow have clogged the drains. I dug out mine and released a huge amount of water that had pooled up. In 1996 my house almost flooded from such a stopped street drain. So if all of us tended to nearby street drains, a potential source of flooding could be avoided.
There are some snow showers in the south Sound now...but nothing serious. Tomorrow, a strong Pacific weather system will move in and cold air will be in place. Before sufficient warming can occur there is a good chance of lowland snow. It will turn to rain, but the switchover could take a few hours. Precipitation from this system should start sometime after 1 PM tomorrow.
This will be a wet system, capable of dumping several feet of snow in the mountains. At this point it does not look like it will produce heavy rain in the lowlands...just our normal light to moderate intensities.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you for sharing your weather observations. Such reports are not only helpful to the other readers, but are valuable as a research aid, instructing me and others about the substantial variations that can occur.


  1. Thank you for providing this blog for us amateur weather watchers. I think I've learned a little and enjoyed the imformation exchange a lot. I'm kinda sorry its over. Its time like these that remind us of the value of community, that we're all in this together. Later dude.

  2. Tonight we're having fog (550-580 ft in Sammamish). Not sure I've ever seen fog with snow in Seattle.

    Does fog on such a night indicate anything special? If you're interested, we're at about the highest point on the Sammamish plateau, on the hill that is just north of Inglewood Hill Road and just west of 228th Ave NE. Our hill is viewable via Google's terrain map.

  3. We headed from Bainbridge to the peninsula at 10:30 am today, and went from rain on BI to snow going toward and through Poulsbo. There's a little microclimate on Hwy 305 just south of Poulsbo that often has more severe weather than its surroundings.

    Snow is slow to melt, still quite slippery anywhere there's slush on the road, but the highway is bare.

  4. Calm and about 33 degrees right now in Port Townsend almost all the snow is gone anywhere it wasn't piled up. Had an early morning rain shower then patchy blue skies today.

  5. Fascinating that sometimes Seattle is completely protected, like last Wednesday and the 'snow shadow', and at other times, right in the bullseye of repeating showers.

    Here in Crown Hill things are very slushy and re-freezing, with about an inch and a half still on the ground. In the morning, I will go in search of our storm drain.

    Today, it kept snowing, but not accumulating. We had everything from rain to big wet flakes to small flakes in fast and furious snow showers. In the end, it only amounted to a quarter inch of slushy snow.

  6. It snowed a good 3-4 inches last night and this morning on Redmond Ridge. The temps never rose above 32. Right now it appears to be somewhere between 29-30.

  7. I drove twice today from Crown Hill in Seattle, near Swanson's Nursery, a mile or so to my sister-in-law's place down in Greenwood. On the side streets it was very treacherous. Deep ruts dictate that one vehicle at a time has the right of way and a couple of times I barely avoided a wreck despite having a new Subaru Forester and a lot of years of experience driving in winters in Iowa, Nebraska and Boston.

    I fear for the commuters tomorrow, especially if we have more freezing overnight.

    Thanks also from me for this blog. It is a nice departure from the big commercial weather sites.

  8. Ditto what Sno Valley Girl said.

    What would help, though, would be some guidance on how you would like us to report our local conditions. Obviously that's a little "cow out of the barn" for this past series of snow events, but generally speaking I'd like to know if you prefer temperatures reported in F or C, precipitation amounts in inches or centimeters, if you need to know what time of day readings are taken, et cetera.

    Also, is there any value in the data produced by off-the-shelf home weather station systems? I got one for Xmas, and while I'm eager to set it up, I'd be more eager to do so if there was a way for my data to contribute to the greater good.

  9. An inch and a half on the ground in Crown Hill? I was knocking snow off the trees and I stepped into a drift and sank in to my hip, and I'm a tall person.

  10. Scratch my earlier comment; I just went out and checked the top of my car --- it was more like 8-9 inches on Redmond Ridge since yesterday.

  11. We had at least 4-5 inches of new snow in Broadview today. During Christmas brunch, we watched a neighbor's limb fall from over 100 feet up, taking a couple of other limbs with it as it fell. Pretty amazing. Snow changed over to sleet around 1:30 PM, and never switched over to all rain until right before it stopped, around 3.

    I think Broadview is often the southern edge of a convergence zone. Often my parents have snow here, and I don't have any at my house in Wallingford. Our microclimates sure make things exciting!

  12. Darn, I was really hoping for a lot of rain tomorrow to start washing all of this out...

    Our snow today began around 5 a.m. and continued until shortly before 4 p.m. By 7, the neighborhood was shrouded in thick fog. We're at 47.44N 122.14W (Elev. 512 ft), in between Renton and Maple Valley.

    I grew up in central CA and weather there is pretty simple to figure out. I've lived up here almost 11 years and am still confuzzled by it. I'm on the waiting list for your book to explain it to me!

  13. East Rentton reporting in again. We've had a brief respite from the snow for a few hours, however it's snowing again. Still no significant new accumulation (maybe 1-2 inches on top of the thick base). The warm temps annd wet snow are really packing the base layers and it's all very crunchy now as the temp keeps dropping back below freezing. The snow out there is really heavy. I can't move the branch that fell off ot the neighbor's tree because the snow is weighing it down!

    Looking in the front yard at an undisturbed spot today, the total accumulation in the last week has been in the neigborhood of a foot.

  14. P.S. We're seeing the fog too. Anonymous is in my general area, just one hill over.

  15. Olympia: no new snow today. I skied Capitol Lake this week, from breaking through Sunday's half-inch of ice crust to skate-skiing today's wide track.

    Cliff, the comments on this blog have provided such graphic evidence of the W WA microclimates and weather variation you talk about. Thank you for making this possible, and thanks to all the contributors.
    Diane Doss

  16. The drive down SandPoint Way was ice free this AM at 5:20 except for a 12 block stretch between 65th and Princeton (Magnuson Park main entrance & City People's) where it was snowing/hailing heavily and the road was white. Didn't seem slick but the road is pretty level through this area.
    It was smooth sailing on either side of this white spot. -DougN

  17. Downtown Tacoma is icy with no new snow. I just took my garbage out and my garbage can could use chains or studded tires. It's like a frozen Slurpee out there.

    I'd like to thank the City of Tacoma road crews who were out yesterday with their snow plows, clearing the last of snow and slush off major arterials.

    I live in downtown Tacoma and work in downtown Seattle. The contrast between the two cities approach to snow and ice removal from city streets, could not be starker. Tacoma has done an outstanding job.

  18. Thanks for all the info. and insight, Cliff. We are in Lake Forest Park, right on the King Snohomish Co. line at about 550 ft. above sea level Yesterday am before it started to snow again I measured 22" on the open flat part of my deck. After clearing that we got about 4" on Christmas Eve and another 6" yesterday (Christmas Day).

    On Christmas Day in morning I drove into the Univ. Dist. in Seattle twice (9 am and 11 am). Both times, there was a 'wall' almost exactly at Northgate. Snowing hard to the north, and raining to south, with a transition zone of less than a half a mile

  19. Thanks, Cliff, for posting so much usable information on your blog to help us readers stay on top of what to expect during the recent weather event. Even when forecasts are uncertain, it's helpful to know that, too. I look forward to hearing you each Friday on KUOW; your few minutes with Steve Scher on Fridays is appointment radio.

  20. Northgate reporting--our side street turned to mush yesterday, and cars that had previously been able to drive on it sank to the pavement and flailed. We had two cars abandoned due to the slush (and our hill). The slush froze last night, so we'll see what today brings.
    Thanks for providing us this blog, Cliff. It's the first thing I look at each morning. I've also been enjoying your book.

  21. Woodinville - 8:00AM - light dusting last night, heavy melting currently. I did a lot of shoveling yesterday to clear snow away from my foundation and will need to do more today (our metal roof causes huge sheets of snow to slide off which means more shoveling). Thankfully, we live on a hill which is good from a runoff standpoint (no pooling).

    All told we probably had 35-38" of snow in total during this 'event'. My brother-in-law, who is originally from N.H., was amazed at the amount of snow when they came out yesterday for Christmas dinner.

  22. Updates and a Correction from
    [Long-winded] Bob Moore in SE Lake Forest Park:

    Both our Solar water roof panel and Shed Thermometer are reporting 33 degrees F, and I'll soon explore their Manuals to see whether weU could tweak them to get Centigrade instead (and if so, how...), now that Jason has [gently] reminded us all that meteorologists like Cliff usually prefer Centigrade so it probably costs him a few seconds and keyboard punchin' to convert from F to C when we all report in Fahrenheit. [Or, can you do that instantly in yer smarter brain, Cliff?] Since our son and his family who live in Kawasaki, Japan think in Centigrade, we're trying to evolve in that direction anyway, and I'm glad that most of my favorite HP and TI calculators have F -> C and C -> F conversion keys to make quick work of that. {Aside here: I was the organizer of a Student-Faculty-Staff calculator User Group at UW in the '70s and a co-leader with my buddy Chuck Dinsmore of our Puget Sound chapter of the international HP Calculator User group HHC invented by Wlodek Meier-Jancerovich [Sp?]in Great Britain and Richard Nelson and HP RPN Logic designer Bill Wickes here in the US, and Chuck and I and our 10 other local buddies probably share a 100-200 calculator archive-museum and meet annually at Ivar's Salmon House to celebrate this community and help our pal Sam Kim [a UW grad who took Linear Algebra with me years ago] design and test the next generation of HP calcs from Vancouver WA. I'm going to fwd this post to all of my local HP buddies to recruit them to join our
    "Cliff Mass' Blog User Group" and donate their smarts here too, but I'm betting that at least half of them will read this here first!}

    Next, the correction: our shed thermometer is usually 2 degrees F HIGHER than our Subaru on 39th Ave NE and NE 148th below. And, I'll bet we can convert the Subaru to C too.

    in fact, I have a long tale to share about community collaboration in helping a neighbor drive his FWD car up the hill from 39th Ave NE and NE 148th without chains at 10:30 PM last night, but I need to check email first. This sends a good message about my priorities: at least in these snowy times, I value Cliff's Blog and your Comments more than my email, so I check in here FIRST!
    Who else does it that way?

    Again, my first Post failed, so I'll try again again...

  23. Here in Carnation its 31 degrees, we had a light dusting of snow overnight, flat white sky that looks like snow but a shade darker. All is calm and not so bright. Waiting for the next storm to arrive.

  24. I'm of very mixed feelings about the matter of light rain, low temperatures, and a slow thaw; my civic minded side knows that a fast thaw would be an utter disaster, at this point, the equivalent of a big rainstorm in November when the storm-drains are choked with leaves. But last night I fell at the end of the front steps at my sister's house, bright reflected light all around and the edge of the step in deep shadow, and then had to walk up the last fifty feet of my driveway (ten feet gain in elevation) where even the shovelled parts were slick and the shoulders had a heavy ice layer. I'm too old for this stuff, and also lack crampons. And there may not be enough ibuprofen on the planet for my right ankle. And knee. And hip, for values of hip which include everything from the sacrum to the knee.

    Union Mills: Yesterday's high was 35.6F, overnight low 27.6F and a skit of snow, as my hoosier grandma would have put it. Currently 32, up from 31.5 when I got up at 9pm. Cars zooming by on the road below, which is especially stupid because there are three entrances to a large apartment complex and a subdivision al of which require left turns, and the left turn lane has been used as a place to pile plowed snow.

  25. This website has good information about how to set up your new weather station. I'm hoping to get some lithium batteries today and get at least some of my sensors set up. I'd like to have my system tested and debugged so I can put it on by New Year's.

  26. South Renton/East Hill update. Woke up this morning with a light dusting of frozen snow on the driveway, but no precipitation since about 05:00. Still lots of snow, but starting to melt.

    Re Bob Moore's comment "I value Cliff's Blog and your Comments more than my email, so I check in here FIRST! Who else does it that way?" Count me in. A few month ago, I started rearranging my Friday mornings so I could hear Cliff on KUOW. Then last month found the blog, just in the nick of time. Thanks Cliff and all. I'm going to have to get some weather equipment now to feed my wanna-be meteorologist urges.

  27. The micro climates around here amaze me! The snow depths coming out of Woodinville and Lake Forest Park are astounding. (The greatest depth I recorded SE of Auburn was 8.5") I Left Mercer Is. yesterday around 2pm with Lt. rain, 35 deg. and 6.5" of fast melting snow on the ground. Drove to near the top of Couger Mt. approx. 1100' elev. and measured a whopping 18", 32 deg. and not a bit of melting. An absolute winter wonderland. Then off to Snoqualmie Ridge, again 32 deg. and 16" of white gold! All the while my brother messured only 4" in Issaquah! Quite a bit of variation over a fairly short distance. Looking forward to the next round!

  28. I recommend the Weather Display software ( for your new weather station, the graphing and web support is impressive and it already supports weather underground upload, as well as webcam integration. I received a Honeywell weather station for Christmas last year and just love it. Although I live in sort of a hole that gives me lower than actual wind readings, its a lot of fun nonetheless. Funny thing is if you enter "Bothell, WA" or "98011" for the location in, you get my station by default (KWABOTHE16)

  29. Hi---I am located at 15th NE and 89th Street. Right now (1:58 PM) it is snowing very hard, which fills me with dismay, because I have to fly out of SEA TAC tomorrow at 12:00 noon. I thought we were warming up. What happened?

    Thanks!------Cold in Seattle


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