Tuesday, January 11, 2011

6 PM Nowcast

The snow is slowly moving in, but nothing much going on in the central Puget Sound yet--the commute for virtually all of you is safe.

Snow has slowly extended from the coast to Shelton and some scattered light snow showers have been reported in the south Sound. Snow has been falling for hours on the north coast across the NW Olympic Peninsula, with light snow across portions of the San Juans into Bellingham now.

Here is the radar image at 5:47 PM from RainWatch. Remember the beam is way above the surface in most places and lot of this snow is not reaching the surface, particularly on the east side of the Sound.. There is one modest band moving through the south Sound, but the stuff behind it is unremarkable. And the easterly flow off the Cascades is really attenuating the snow east of the Sound.

And the snow is running out of time as the temperatures aloft are now warming as warm Pacific air moves in. In 4-6 hours it will be too late!

We don't have a regular radar on the coast, but we do have a vertically pointing radar at Westport (part of NOAA's atmospheric river observatory). Here is the latest image. You can see the lowering cloud deck and precipitation reaching the surface....looks like more intense precipitation moving in there...which would reach Puget Sound in a few hours.

So we have an interesting tug of war over Seattle and the east side--- who will win?...the drying easterlies or the snow band coming in? The models suggest the former!

138 comments:

  1. 1810:A few flakes just started falling in Port Angeles.

    Cliff, thanks for your wonderful, informative weather blog!

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  2. Thank you so much Cliff... this nowcast is a great, and fun, public service

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  3. I'm in Aberdeen, and it looks almost blizzard-esque at 6:35. The stiff easterlies are affixing plenty of snow on east facing road signs and cars, with between and inch and inch and a half accumulating...all this comes at a price, however; I know that we will probably be the first to see it switch to rain.

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  4. the updating forecasts are great Cliff!

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  5. That snow IS TOAST!

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  6. Liking the nowcasts. Thanks!

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  7. Update from Portland: started as light snow, now mixed precipitation (snow/sleet/freezing rain). Mostly freezing rain at my home in inner SE Portland right now.

    I'm very glad I left work as soon as the first flakes started drifted down at 4:30 this afternoon.

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  8. 6:35 PM Light snow falling in Maple Valley, easterly winds still 15-25 MPH

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  9. 6:50 and not snowing in Bellingham. We're waiting and hopeful - nothing quite as good as a snow day for the kids. And it only takes a couple of inches to make that happen around here.

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  10. 6:25 PM, light snow in Maple Valley with easterly gusts to 25 MPH.

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  11. Your (S)Nowcast was a huge help to folks planning to attend the Snoqualmie Valley Beekeepers meeting in North Bend tonight. Thank you!
    http://www.snoqualmievalleybeekeepers.org/

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  12. Cliff, thank you for the updates. As of 6:35 PM, light snow in Maple Valley with easterly wind gusts to 25 MPH

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  13. Cliff, thank you for the updates, very informative. As of 6:35 PM, light snow, easterly wind gusts to 30 MPH and 32 degrees.

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  14. Cliff, thank you for the updates, very informative. As of 6:35 PM, light snow, easterly wind gusts to 30 MPH and 32 degrees.

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  15. (is it just me or are the comments not displaying?) Snow in downtown Seattle is now being reported.

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  16. Snowing lightly in West Seattle near 35th and Holden.

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  17. Light snow in Poulsbo/Bainbridge Island. Just started, only a small accumulation. Thanks for all the updates!

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  19. Pouring snow here in West Seattle. Just a dusting so far - hope for lots! Are we somehow shielded from the compressional warming from the east flow off the Cascades?

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  20. It just started snowing in Sammamish in Hampton Woods just south of Sahalee.

    Ron Reed
    http://BlackTripawd.Smugmug,com

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  21. We're up to 1 1/2" with snow steadily coming down now at 7:05--on a ridge about South Shore of Hood Canal at 550' elevation. Just a hair over 30 degrees on the thermometer and it feels like its going to snow for awhile.

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  22. 19:20

    The Sammamish snow is just light flurries at the moment.

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  23. We're up to almost 2" at 7:20 and its coming down steadily. Just over 30 degrees here at 550' elevation just above the South Shore of Hood Canal near Union. It feels like its going to be coming down for awhile.

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  24. Flurries started around 7pm in SE Bellevue (Lake Heights neighborhood, southwest of Factoria).

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  25. 7:20 PM light snow falling but not yet sticking in Wedgwood, NE 75th St. & 45th Ave. NE.

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  26. Current conditions for Downtown Tacoma, light to moderately heavy snow turning to slush, temps around 33deg. light NE winds. Roads wet and slushy.

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  27. I love these NOWCASTS.

    Coming down hard in Silverdale on the Ridge. We have 1/2 inch and counting. Looking like heavy band has arrived!

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  28. I'd like to continue the philosophical discussion raised yesterday about the value of extended forecasts. I'm still of two minds. This forecast really went sideways, even within the last 12-24 hours. I realize everyone is trying to do their best and the motivation is strong to be a good citizen and to avoid the problem we had 6 weeks ago that resulted in 12 hour commutes for some. Still, do I want my tax dollars that support the NWS going to perfecting forecasts or telling the entire community to be home by 4PM? Please tell me the odds, tell me when you think the snow will begin, but don't tell me how to run my commute! Maybe the NWS has special liaison with state DOT and other officials, though I doubt it. Maybe the mission of the NWS has changed from forecasting to the life-impacts of the forecasts. But, I'd first like the original purpose to be perfected. I view this blog differently because it is private and educational in purpose. I see Mr. Mass as a citizen trying his best to look out for his fellow citizen. I respect that the blog is personal and also deals with important educational issues like teaching mathematics to our children. He is my neighbor advising me to be in by 4 if I want to safely miss a possible spate of weather, not the government. Still, all of these forecasts have tremendous influence and impact, and folks listen to them with a great deal of deference--too much in today's case. Here in West Seattle it is 7:00 PM and I did not need 4-6 days notice about weather that never happened. So back to the issue of how best to express uncertainties in extended forecasts. I assume these models take into consideration the east winds and the warming aloft, and all other series of contingencies, but it would be nice to deconstruct them and break down for us all the variables that could cause a forecast of snow to be enhanced, or to be diminished, as has been the case thus far today.

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  29. 7:30 - first wind driven flakes in North Bend at foot of Mt. Washington.

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  30. Light snow north-east of Redmond at 350ft. Settling slightly.

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  31. Starting to really come down in North Tacoma. It's not sticking to the roads at all. This is just tough to watch knowing it'll be raining by midnight, what a waste!

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  32. 7:35 in Olympia (near sea level)--snowing moderately, heavy wet snow, sticking on just about everything. Unlike Aberdeen, some 40 miles west of here, there is no wind--flakes falling straight down.

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  33. Little tiny bits of snow coming down in Lake Forest Park. Kind of breezy out there

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  34. Started light snow in San Juans about 4:30, still snowing light flakes at 7:45, perhaps 1/2 inch on our deck.

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  35. Snowing in South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle: checked 7:49. Glorious! It finally got here. So sad that it will melt soon.

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  36. Snowing on First Hill in Seattle. starting to stick a bit.

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  37. starting to snow in Poulsbo at 7:30 PM. Nice fluffy flakes falling steady.
    Temp 32.4 F.
    Barometer 29.95 falling
    Wind SSW 5 mph gusts 8mph
    Altitude 270 Ft.

    Thanks Cliff for all the good things that you do

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  38. Light snow here in downtown Bothell (98011). 720 ft elevation, 35F. Very small snow crystals.

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  39. Very light snow starting 4 miles NE of Duvall, 960 feet up

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  40. Very light snow here in Hansville, but it is snowing fairly hard in Poulsbo. I installed a weather station and webcam at Poulsbo Central Market. It's a pretty good view of the snow right now.
    http://www.centralmarketweather.com/Poulsbo/webcam/

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  41. Here it comes..!

    Huge flakes are now falling in U District and immediately began sticking.

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  42. 8:00PM - North Bend at foot of Mt. Washington - very light wind blown snow now turning to very light wind blown rain; steady 10phm wind with gust -I'm guessing - to 25mph.

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  43. There is very light, wet snow in south Kenmore at the top of Finn Hill. It's barely sticking in grassy areas and completely melting on any pavement.

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  44. Just starting to snow again in Bellingham, after a 2 hour break. NE winds have now dropped, after getting a little gusty in the last hour.

    Here's hoping we get the 4-6 inches that are forecast!

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  45. 8pm on Capitol Hill, Seattle at a bit below 300 feet with steady light snow and a small amount of accumulation.

    From the Volunteer Park weather station temp is very close to freezing (and dipped about 7pm which I presume is when the snow started falling.

    Quote a few duplicate posts tonight ...

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  46. Finally the first flakes in Birch Bay falling on dry ground. We're definitely among the last to start seeing snow.

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  47. It's snowing harder in north central Tacoma now -- 32 degrees (down 4 degrees from an hour ago) and sticking to the streets. About half an inch of accumulation so far.

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  48. Its snowing in Fremont, up on the hill.

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  49. 20:10 Just started snowing lightly in the city of Bellingham. Off to play ice hockey - fitting for once!

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  50. Snowing and accumulating in West Seattle near the Junction - maybe a half inch so far. Wishing it would stick around for us to play in tomorrow!

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  51. Snowing and sticking on Phinney Ridge @ 8:12pm

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  52. Snow coming down moderately hard in Richmond Beach area of Shoreline...

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  55. 8:20pm ~ been snowing quite nicely here on Lopez Island for about 45 minutes...

    Heh, and THANKS for all the updating!

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  56. 8:20PM, QA Hill in Seattle near Trader Joe's (Mmmmm... Jojos...)(370' ASL) - moderate snow, picking up in intensity; can't see Space Needle 0.9 miles away. ~0.25-0.5" and covering street.

    Pretty.

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  57. Location: Union Hill area west of Ames Lake, between Redmond and Fall City, elevation 550'.

    Moderately hard snow, temperature dropping to 31.1° from 33+ in just a short time. Looks like just a skif of snow on the ground with a brisk breeze blowing too, generally out of the SW I guess.

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  58. Snowing pretty good in Shoreline- streets are covered. Nothing 30 minutes ago. Strong wind from the South.

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  59. Starting to come down heavier in Bellingham. A light dusting on top of the crusty 2" from last week.

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  60. About an inch in south federal way 2 miles west of the 348th exit. Coming down fairly hard. Temp is 30.0 degrees and wind is calm.

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  61. West Seattle/Alki @ 60ft. above sea level--1/2 inch and snowing light wet snow. 31 degrees at 8:30 PM.

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  62. 745 pm snow Ballard WA 8 pm Montlake. Coming down here in Montlake.

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  63. West Seattle/Alki @ 60ft. above sea level--1/2 inch and snowing light wet snow. 31 degrees at 8:30 PM.

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  64. 8:35PM Snow falling on South end of Whidbey Island.

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  65. Snowing moderately in downtown. Denny & Westlake. Starting to accumulate. Light flakes but wet ground.
    No one is sliding down Denny, yet.

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  66. I just left Northgate and drove to Queen Anne - light to moderate snow and big flakes at NSCC, sticking to the ground. The pavement was clear but wet on I-5 (couldn't decide on the lesser of evils - the salted highway but fast traffic or calmer but snowy side streets/99).
    In Lower Queen Anne (East side) it's also steady and medium to large flakes with small accumulation on the streets. I have about .25" on my deck rail.

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  67. Seriously coming down at Paine Field. Everything is white and covered. Started about 8:25pm and immediately stuck.

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  68. I should have looked more closely at my weather station. Winds are out of the SE mostly and the relative humidity is very low at 53% (DP = 15°). Temperature is now 29.7° at 20:45. Same location as before of course. Wind is blowing harder and still snowing.

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  69. Coming down good here in Woodinville (I'm at 400ft). Probably already have an inch...sure wish it would stay snow :(

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  70. A beautiful white blanket in Kirkland!

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  71. Snowing hard here in East Bellevue, 210' elevation, uphill from Lake Sammamish. About an inch on the ground, medium-size flakes, fairly wet. Temp is 31, breeze is 5 mph from the SE with a few gusts (highest today was 17). It's fun to read what everyone else is getting, and the NowCasts are brilliant! Will there be another one tonight, Cliff?

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  72. Really coming down in Kirkland now and sticking! Also seems to be windy out here...

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  73. Snowing at a good pace here in Redmond (close to the Rose Hill neighborhood).

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  74. I'm showing 31 degrees in the S. Waterfront area of Pdx with light freezing rain. Traffic seems to be moving just fine through the city though it looks like travelers w. bound on I-84 near cascade locks will be disappointed, jack knifed semi has shut it down. Thanks for the awesome forum for weather Cliff!

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  75. At least an inch and a half in Silverdale, and it's still coming down hard in tiny flakes. You're the most reliable source! Thanks for the updates.

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  76. Snow began in Shoreline around 7:30. By 9:00 PM there is maybe a quarter of an inch. Just enough to get my kids fired up. I'll let them think what they like..............

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  77. Moderate snow in Bellingham now. Starting to blow around and the Bellingham Cold Storage automatic station has dropped 4 degrees in the last hour; 31 now with a dew point at 28.

    Shame it will probably be gone when we wake up....

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  78. Just starting here 5 miles ESE of North Bend at 700'. Winds have died down a bit. Snowing very lightly and sticking. Temperature hovering around 29F.

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  79. Snowing still on Mercer Island. Here's hoping the rain really does show up.

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  80. 8:50 PM, about an inch in Port Angeles and still snowing with intent. I just drove home in it. Streets slick, slippery where there's a slope even though snow not deep.

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  81. 1-2 inches accumulation in Lake Forest Park. Snow sticking to my street at 9pm

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  82. Snowing moderate in Renton @8:50PM. approx. 1" accumulation. Thanks for this nowcast service, Cliff.

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  83. SE Bellevue (Lake Hts, southwest of Factoria) It was coming down heavily for a bit, but it's back to fine, light stuff. We now have about an inch on the ground.

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  84. Snow on the north end of the Sammamish plateau is extremely 'sparkly'--lots of specular highlights arising from flat crystal faces reflecting the porch light. The effect makes the snow appear very different than what we had a few weeks ago. Wind starting to come up as well.

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  85. Beacon Ave S + Cloverdale is home to a stranded Metro bus, a few stray cars and almost an inch of snow. Still coming down though it doesn't //feel// that cold...does that mean it's warming up? Roads are super slick because the snow is sooo darn wet.

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  86. At least an inch here in Tacoma and it's still coming down pretty good.

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  87. Light and wet snow still falling on Bainbridge Island (on the north end). It's about 34 degrees and there's around an inch of accumulation.

    Many thanks for the nowcast!

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  88. Still snowing hard in West Seattle. About an inch on the ground, fairly large sparkly flakes.

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  89. This is fun and interesting! Snow is coming down hard on my hill in Bellingham.

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  90. Snow started flying 3 miles NNE of Monroe about 8:30... and it's definitely flying with the east wind we've got blowing here!

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  91. About an inch of good snowball packing snow in Brier/Lynnwood area. Kids playing now since tomorrow is another day....

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  92. about 2+ inches in Arbor Heights (West Seattle) as of 9pm.

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  93. 9:15 - North Bend at foot of Mt. Washington - snow at 7:30, rain at 8:00, snow at 9:00, which is now coming down moderately and has covered the ground; winds still strong

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  94. Checking in from Mill Creek. Currently it's 29 degrees, heavy snow, snow covered roads, about an inch of accumulation, and it's only been snowing for an hour!

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  95. Snowing in port townsend and windy out of the SE.Started about 8:50.

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  96. Snowing steadily in Lake Forest Park. About 2 -3 inches on the ground. No signs of stopping. A little bit of wind. So gorgeous out.

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  97. 9:20pm - Port Angeles Downtown
    Snow falling steadily with 1 - 2 inches on the ground.

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  98. An inch near downtown Kirkland. Hope the forecasted jump in temperature around 3 am happens on schedule.

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  99. Sammamish, 550 ft elevation. We have snow coming down hard with fairly strong winds...10mph, gusting to 25mph from ENE if you can believe the neighborhood weather equipment on Wunderground. The snow is blowing sideways about half the time and sometimes almost UPWARD, because the wind is blowing so hard. It's really difficult to believe that this will turn to rain by 1:00am, but if you say so... ;-).

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  100. 21:28
    Still snowing steady on Key Peninsula, Western Pierce County; 2" total here next to saltwater. Wind calm; 33 deg F. Real pretty!!

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  101. Have almost 2 inches here in North Kirkland at 9:30 and still coming down hard.

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  102. Have almost 2 inches here in Kirkland at 9:30 and still coming down hard.

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  103. 4 inches of snow in front yard away from trees and buildings....Vashon Island 9:32 pm

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  104. Here in Redmond Ridge, several inches in the last 2 hours.

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  105. 3" in Silverdale!! Coming down hard!

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  106. NWS just issued an updated Winter Storm Warning through 7:00am tomorrow for us in the Hood Canal area. They are calling for 4 to 8 inches. We have about an inch of very fine snow right now and the temperature is dropping.

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  107. It's been rippin' in Ferndale since about 830. It's windy too but mild for these parts.

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  108. It's been rippin' in ferndale since about 830. It's windy too but pretty moderate for these parts.

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  109. Two inches have fallin in two hours here in Haller Lake.

    Kids are out having a grand time because, as another reader already said, tomorrow is another day!

    Cliff, thank you for your time, your information and your service to this community.

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  110. West Seattle/Alki--1.5 inches and still snowing. Maybe this is a taste of what could have been. Changeover timing and snowmelt will be interesting to see how morning commute is affected.

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  112. Finally starting to pick up the snow in Ellensburg...temp is 21 :)

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  113. Calm winds, 1/2" to 3/4" on the ground on the East side of Lake Union in Seattle. First tiny flakes fell at 7:10, Now steady moderate snow and calm winds. Drove at 9:00 to the U district, main roads okay, steep side roads pretty greasy. Temp 33.7 F

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  114. Checking in from Mill Creek again. Currently it's 29 degrees, heavy snow, snow covered roads, about three inches of accumulation, and it's only been snowing for 90-100 minutes!

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  115. Got about 1 1/2 inches here in Renton so of Valley Medical Center, and still coming down. Started at about 6:30pm

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  116. 10:04pm - Port Angeles
    Turning to rain....

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  117. Snow in Bellevue

    Went outside and stuck a ruler in it: an inch. Still coming down in East Bellevue. 32F, breeze from the ESE but light now.

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  118. North east of Redmond, 350ft: 1.5" on asphalt, 2.5" on deck.

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  119. Kids are having a grand time outdoors at 10:30pm- we've got nearly 3" on the ground near downtown Burien, with some mixed snow/frozen rain falling. 32.9°F on the thermometer and my kids are hoping the forecasters are all wrong about it warming up and turning to rain.

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  120. as of 10:20 PM, 2+ inches of accumulation in Crown Hill (NW Seattle) at 315 ft elevation.

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  121. 2.1 " of snow here in Normandy park 128', 2 Miles SW of SEATAC.

    Temp 30.5
    DP 27.4
    Wind gusting 15-20mph out of the ENE

    Seems like a little more than I expected here. There is a police cruiser in the ditch on hwy509

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  122. I've got 2 1/2 inches on the porch here on 18th and Spring at the top of capitol hill, and still coming down!

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  123. 10:26pm,33.3 and snowing moderately here in Leschi...2 1/2 inches on the ground. Have had a great evening, hope you all have as well!

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  124. Blizzard here, kwafernd20 on wunderground. 22:33 hrs

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  125. Just shy of 2.5" here in East Woodinville (Lake Tuck) as of 10:30p with some pretty good wind gusts to add to the excitement.

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  126. Just went to the 8:00 showing of True Grit here in Bellingham. No snow when I went in, 4" when we came out.

    Had to leave the car at the bottom of the south hill and walk up.

    Should have taken the 4x4 truck.

    Live and learn.....

    Still snowing hard.

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  127. 33.3 reading here in Leschi, snowing steady, 2 1/2 inches on the ground...it's been a fun evening!

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  128. Checking in again. The snow just stopped here in Bothell. 33F and still dropping...for now. Wish the kids weren't in bed. This is PERFECT snowman weather :(
    Just measured and found over 2 1/2 inches. And as I am posting, it started dumping snow again. :)

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  129. 2.5 inches and more falling in Olympia

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  130. About 2 inches on the ground here in Bellingham... I am near Whatcom Community College. Still snowing and gusty... 15mph. Not even close the being a blizzard but I'm sure some people would use that to describe the conditions right now.

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  131. 11pm ~ Lopez Island checking in again...snow fall = 2 inches, still falling.

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  132. 11:30PM in Olympia. (Not that Cliff is still up vetting the posts!)
    32.2F at the ground, snowing steadily since around 6:30PM, with a good 3" on the ground and no sign of melting.
    No wind.
    Still snowing . . .
    The midnight snowboarders are congregating on the San Francisco St hill where I live.
    Rescued one stuck car so far ;-)

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  133. 10 cm now at 1 am in Vancouver BC. Maybe it will reach the 25 cm mark (max predicted) by tomorrow morning when I have to drive my kid to bowling at 7 am. I have all weather tires and they do plow streets in Vancouver.

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  134. 1:15AM Wednesday in Olympia: It has finally stopped snowing. Not precipitating at the moment. Temp = 32.2F, where it has held stable for 2 hours.

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  135. Can I infer anything about the weather conditions aloft or how a storm is progressing based on the type of snow falling? In Bellingham, early on, the snow was fluffy but very small with nondescript patterns. Later on, the flakes became bigger and had the more traditional snowflake pattern. Then a bit later, the falling flakes were clumped together...then

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