Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scaling Back

UPDATE TONIGHT AT 9 PM.  The 18 UTC model runs are consistent with the lesser snowfall totals of this morning's runs.

The latest series of model runs are in and to me they suggest we need to scale snow totals down over Puget Sound to 2-6 inches.  In other words, not a record even over the PS area..  Folks this is a very difficult forecast.  Everything depends on getting the track of the low exactly right...first to decide where the rain/snow changeover will be and secondly to get the amount of precipitation right.

Most of the models are in agreement that the low will go south of us...thus, more confidence that it will be pretty much all snow north of Olympia.  But having the low go south is a Faustian bargain...it reduces the intensities over us.   Right now it looks like 2-6 inches over Puget Sound (6 inches near Olympia, 2 inches near Everett) is the most consistent forecast with current model forecasts.  Tonight will will have a better idea.  As I mentioned before, a shift of a hundred miles or so for the low makes a huge difference on the forecast for us....a low that has developed over the past several days and over thousands of miles.  It is amazing we can even attempt to do this. 

Here is the latest 24-h snowfall totals ending 4 PM Wednesday.   Big gradient of snow up the Sound but LOTS of snow over the mountains and SW Washington, before it turns to rain there.


If the predicted path or intensity of the incoming system changes, this forecast will change.  It is sort of like aiming a rifle...you gyrate around until you lock on.  The storm shifts 100 miles north...ST headline could be true.

226 comments:

  1. Don't know which is worse; scare the bejesus out of us and scale back, or go low and we're hit with a blizzard. I say screw it, give it all back to the First Peoples and we'll all move to Hawaii!

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  2. I don't think it's fair to criticize the Seattle Times for today's headline. When they went to print, some models were showing up to 14".

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  3. Cliff - still the Thursday snow push?

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  4. Journalists know that apocalyptic headlines = less severe event. Known and proven cause and effect. And a public service!

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  5. Shoot, what am I going to do with this snow blower I just got. :)

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  6. Heard your live bit on KPLU before reading this. Was very cool to hear KPLU call you *their* weather expert (I don't know if you listened immediately afterwards but the co-anchor was gushing about it being so cool to have someone like you guide us through this), esp. after the KUOW flap... good on the both of you!

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  7. I live in Snohomish near the Monroe fairgrounds at an elevation of 264 feet. We have 8 inches on the ground and it has been snowing steadily for the last two hours. This is already quite the snow event

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  8. what does "track of the low" mean?

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  9. Major heavy snow falling in Olympia now.

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  10. what does "track of the low" mean?

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  11. what does "track of the low" mean?

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  12. Dang it! what am I going to do with the kids? 2" is barely enough to sled on but enough to cancel schools everywhere!

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  13. Aghhh! This is so dang frustrating! It's *impossible* to make plans for Wednesday because of this freakin' weather tennis match.

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  14. Betting against snowmagedden. My money's on snowskirmish. Not ruling out snowscuffle. But we've had about an inch in the past hour here in CZ central. Pretty.

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  15. I knew this was going to happen, this happens every time they forecast a large snow storm. I've been saying it since day one..and actually Cliff you yourself said "Don't believe the hype" last week.

    I feel like too much emphasis was on the forecast models and no one was thinking logically about how extremely rare it is to get all the timing right for all the required weather patterns for major snow.

    I'm not disappointed in the scale back, it's actually a moment where I can tell myself that my gut feeling, having lived here my whole life, was right in the first place.

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  16. Thank you for these wonderful updates! :-)

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  17. Temps here (15 miles NE of Bellingham) dropped from 32 to 22 in just a couple hours. We got a total of abour 8" of snow and it's overcast now. The sky to the south looks very ominous though.

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  18. Well, way to throw cold water on we snow lovers' hopes, Cliff!

    I do note that the latest (9:43 a.m.) NWS discussion does NOT indicate a scaling back, though I understand their "5-10 inches" as referring to the whole storm at least through Wed. night. So maybe they're bringing down the amounts a little, but still suggesting a major deal for this area. It also indicates that central Puget Sound will be "flirting" with snow from a second low on Thursday (which I think Dr. Mass already mentioned in an earlier post).

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  19. Perhaps sometime you and a prof from the school of communications should teach a joint course: "Science and the Media - A Dysfunctional Marriage" [wink]

    The best of probable outcomes to you over the next 36 hours, Professor!

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  20. Maybe someday it will be possible to grab several of the best global solutions and feed the mesoscale model from that. Say you knew the 00z GFS and the 12Z ECMWF were better solutions, and maybe you thought a few of the ensemble members were more reasonable than some of the outliers. Then feed that superensemble mean into the mesoscale model.

    Something like that done once a day wouldn't bounce around at all. Maybe it would even be better than asking a meteorologist what the best guess is at that moment.

    My wife will ask me a couple times a week for my best forecast--but she holds me to it...even as the models come in every six hours. She then tells her friends that one forecast and I can't edit it--really puts me on the spot! In cases like this I just have to giver her a number and stick to it, hoping the models bounce above and below the first and only forecast I give her. I gave her my best forecast last night. And this time she even wrote it down!

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  22. 6" at Sequim and coming down heavy at 10:00 AM. Temp 30 degrees.

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  23. Sounds like Eatonville's going to get rain....NWS said areas from Olympia south may get freezing rain...which just means wet rain for us.....bummer....still have a little hope that we'll get a good dumping of snow...but my chances seem to be slipping away. On the upside...I checked the GFS through Feb. 2 and it looks like it's going to be wet, cold, rainy, snowy, and windy at times through then.....That's if the model doesn't change it's mind tooooo much! But given the fact that the models change their minds hours berfore an event arrives, I'm not holding out too much confidence in the GFS!

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  24. Appreciate the efforts! It's interesting to me that with better technology it appears our forecasts are still so hard. This won't be the first time a major low comes in off of the Pacific and I wonder when our certainty and the cone of landfall with such storms will improve. I had hoped the coastal radar would provide that, but perhaps our expectations were too high? The storm is still far off, beyond radar range certainly. It might also be the nature of this particular forecast? I recall the 2008 storm being a lot less "iffy". I also remember NOAA nailing the 1996 storms.

    It's also interesting that if the storm does indeed go south to the extent where snow totals are lower than predicted, then what about a warmup? As of now everyone, including NOAA is predicting a warmup. That means some of these forecasts are likely VERY off. My money would be on this blog being right. :)

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  25. It's almost comic how the press hypes it when these forecasts can change so much. Of course with a snow gradient like that, if it moves 50 miles south, the snow depth could drop 5 inches. I'm certainly happy with 2-5 inches. It looks lovely and the kids get to play, but it's not debilitating. 8-12+ inches is a REAL pain!

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  26. West Olympia is slowly becoming buried in snow...

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  27. All of us who have lived here a long time lives in fear of being disappointed right before the event. This is no exception. I'm expecting it to be 1 inch with rain to quickly follow. LAME!

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  28. @ 10am 6 inches new snow in Port Angeles since midnight and still snowing hard. Wind is picking up too.

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  29. I don't doubt the forecast - but it's kind of funny that, here in Sumner, it's been raining since the middle of last night. So far in this period we've gotten very little snow, and most of what we've had has washed away.

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  30. I'll bet it will be one inch of slush and then rain.

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  31. Very interesting that the latest NWS forecast discussion page at 9:45am still calls for 5-10 inches over Seattle, and are not really scaling back.
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/get.php?wfo=sew&pil=AFD&sid=SEW&p=p

    I hope for once it turns out to be much heavier than forecast.

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  32. Eh, tracking the "live" sweep of the low looks like it may just skirt south of seattle, but its got a decent swing of northerly to it. I could see it definitely picking up a bit of steam and swinging far enough north to wallop us.

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  33. In Spokane, NWS has often missed the mark this winter. Not sure why. Yesterday they were still calling for about 3 inches today (Tues) and 8-11" Wed. Now we've got an unpredicted advisory-level windstorm but still no snow; and they've pulled the Wed amount down to 3-5. I doubt it will make 5.

    Weather.com called this one much better.

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  34. Snowing heavily in Woodinville now. Probably 2"+ in the past hour!

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  35. Quoting Citzen Kane: If the headlines are big then the new is big!

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  36. Hmm. Can't really call the kettle black, can you, Pot? :-) The Times was following the consensus that you and the NWS discussed mid-day and evening yesterday.

    It's the classic over/under warn scenario. You want people to be prepared, but you don't want to cause undo panic and cost. At least the grocery stores will love both of you.

    Saw the same thing in the South about hurricanes and even tornadoes (lived in N. Alabama for 17 years). The TV Mets would always drone on and on about any sort of radar-indicated circulation yet 98% of the time their 'rotation' was a paltry wall cloud that couldn't get its act together. I hope that last year reset everyone's interpretation of what a real threatening storm looks like on radar.

    Anyway -- I'm way off-topic. I'm looking forward to working from home and watching whatever happen unfold. I love it when nature reminds us of who's really in control...

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  37. well, I was sure it wasn't going to happen today because it was warm and raining, but now all of a sudden it's really coming down here in Ballard/Loyal Heights. It's great - the first snow we've had during this whole event. My kids are freaking out....even the one with a fever is begging to go outside.

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  38. Thanks for your continuing efforts in education regarding weather (& education). The edge of uncertainty is one of the most exciting places to experience life.

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  39. Not enough to even make a snowball with in silverdale lol. Very dissapointing for the kids

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  40. Here in the Redmond area temps have droped significantly in the last hour, seems some cold is coming, and I see rain on the radar. Guess we're in for more snow. :)

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  41. Cliff was just on Kiro 97.3 with Dave Ross and Luke Burbank. Said the low is tracking further south, which means colder, but less moisture; thus the lower snow amounts. He also suggested it's likely the NWS will back off their forecasts in much the same manner once they review the latest models.

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  42. 4 kids on a Phinney Ridge street corner with backpacks on, heading off to school, watching a car go by with snow heaped up fore and aft (clearly coming in from out of town), all chorused loudly "NO FAIR!!!" They looked so cheated. Even though I hate snow, I sort of feel like, well, maybe there ought to be some (as if I have any influence :)

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  43. I was an out of state student, not straight A'S, at least not A+: and they raised the Tuition when I came during the summer to transfer here. Then when I had the credits to graduate they changed my undergraduate degree in Urban Planning to Liberal Arts.
    In Bonney Lake, where you drive up the going to the sun type road that climaxes with a framed view of a supersized Mt. Rainier Volcano at the Top, we depend on ice free roads...but the NWS discussion says One item of concern is the potential for ice accumulation over the
    south sound...central coast and southwest interior....this pattern of rain and snow continues to next Friday!

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  44. Looks like South Hill/Graham area could get 5-7 inches according to that precip map.

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  45. It's snowing on Cap. Hill in Seattle.

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  46. Be Careful, I think you are scaling back too much, The Euro, UKMET, CNC all have the low farther north, 14" is likely too much but 2-5" is too low IMHO. 5 north 8-10 south seems like a good figure to me.

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  47. 4 inches last night in North Bend, on top of 4 already dropped.

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  48. Let's not be too hard on the Seattle Times. They could have even used your post yesterday about a major disruptive event as one of their sources.

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  49. Accuweather is all over the map. They went down from a high of 12 inches accumulated snow yesterday morning to 8.7 inches last night. Now it's back to 12 inches forecast for Seattle at accuweather.

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  50. Thanks so much for your hype-less updates. It's clear there are a lot of "It depends" factors here, so I'm glad that you call these out instead of inciting pure snow panic as the TV newspeople often do. Personally I'm hoping to fly into SeaTac tonight, so I'm crossing my fingers that it will hold long enough to get home.

    Thanks for helping me better understand this crazy thing called weather.

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  51. Snowing steadily in Lake Forest Park since about 8:30 am. The trees are already looking loaded with snow. No sign of it stopping.

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  52. Have not seen any of the dual-pol radar products yet. When things settle would love to see some from these snow events.

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  53. Hard to criticize the ST when "Snowmageddon" was forecast yesterday. Appreciate the updated outlook though and love the blog.

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  54. I don't know about scaling back - we've got 6" here in Freeland already, having been told to expect 1-2". It's still coming down very steadily.

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  55. We have had over 4 inches in Port Townsend this morning and it is still snowing hard. Thanks for all of your updates Cliff!

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  56. Cliff, I just measured 5.5 inches of snow at 11AM today (Tuesday) in the town of Coupeville. Looks like we have been in a CZ this morning!

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  57. I agree it's not very fair to criticize the Times, especially since they reported the same forecast when they went to press last night that you were reporting yourself (From your post yesteday entitled "Major Snow Event": "The bottom line is that there is a serious threat on Wednesday of 8-15 inches of snow over the region, with a minimal turn over to rain. The biggest snowstorm in years.").

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  58. Here in Kenmore it is 31 degrees and has been snowing steadily since 9:30AM. We already have a new inch of snow covering the trees. But for the last two hours the radar images have been showing rain in this location???

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  59. Snowing like crazy for an hour at Matthews Beach! 2" in last hour! Bring it

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  60. It's been snowing heavily in Woodinville since about 9:30am today; on top of what didn't melt from yesterday we are over 6", so as far as we're concerned, it's a pretty significant snow event already. If we get another 4+ inches, that'll be...a lot, lol.

    I appreciate making a realistic forecast and not wanting people to panic, but that latter ship has sailed :P

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  61. Minutes after Cliff was on Kiro they had a guy on from the NWS who basically rebutted everything Cliff just said. At this time(certainly could change) the NWS is still going with Snowmageddon. Frankly, I don't know who to believe!

    This is better than reality tv!

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  62. I wish they had not under-hyped today's snow: just drove to Wallingford from Northgate and conditions got very bad in the space of an hour. There are two inches in North Seattle now. Wish my kids' school had canceled.

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  63. Snowing steadily since about 1040 hr near North Seattle Community College; apparently it's quite slick in the Lake City area, as none of the school buses made it in to my daughter's school (where I tutor math: I had TWO students out of ten show up). Now SPS is, after starting two hours late, closing two hours early, meaning kids pretty much had to go to school and turn around to come home. Probably pretty bewildering to the parts of town where it's not snowing yet!

    But still and all, it is pretty slick out there in North Seattle. Be careful, folks.

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  64. We have more than five inches on the ground at my house at 1000 foot elevation in Sequim. It stopped snowing at 11:30a.

    So I'd say this was a pretty good snow already...and with any luck, we'll get more (hopefully much more) out of the Wed storm.

    However, given the moisture plume is coming from SW, not so sure. But wind from NE is our snow generator, so I rest my hopes on that. A NE flow puts us on the upside of the lift over the Olympics and we get the "reverse rainshadow effect". As in, megadump. Add in some Fraser River outflow cold. Beautiful.

    Anyway, just wishing...

    John

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  65. About 5 miles north of Darrington on SR 530 here. I have 18" and it is snowing hard. So, maybe Seattle isn't getting buried, but I sure as hell am.

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  66. 14 inches on the grass here in Arlington (just north and west of town at 200-300 feet elevation) and has been coming down hard since about 5:30. Only 1-2 when we went to bed last night. If this is the little preview, we are in trouble. And I love snow.

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  67. North Everett- 4 inches and still coming

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  68. Just a dusting with very fine snow coming down in Magnolia. This is our first winter in Seattle. Maybe when things settle down someone can explain to me why the snow looks like Dippin' Dots. :)

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  69. Keep up the good work Ciff Mass. If here are any complainers out there tell them to stick it in their doppler. Your blog is new to me these past few days and its got all the information I would ever be able to understand. Take that Weather Channel you've been replaced

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  70. Crown Hill 335ft: Less than an inch of slushy snow @ 12:30 and tapering off. As a former midwesterner, the whole 'MegaStorm' headline was hilarious. I was here for the '96 dumping and slushmagedon, so I know what's possible. Still hoping for some high end totals tonight.

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  71. about 3" of new snow this morning in Kirkland near Evergreen Hospital

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  72. Maybe .5 inch in Suquamish this morning. Fell thickly for a while, but now it is melting.

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  73. Up here on First Hill at work, the air's filled with tiny flakes. (45 minutes ago it was sleeting.) No accumulation at present.

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  74. It's been snowing heavily all morning in Everett -- about 6 inches on the ground now. It's wet and slushy now but if it freezes tonight it could be bad in the morning.

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  75. It's been snowing steadily in central Marysville since about 4am. We live at right about sea level and have 6+ inches on the ground. It's still snowing. When I jumped online to check snow totals across the region, then saw this was not a widespread event, I was very surprised.

    It'll be interesting to see what tomorrow brings...all eyes on the Low.

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  76. 12" snow at Sunday Lake exit 212. 30° Foggy & it just stopped snowing.

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  77. How on earth does Lake Washington School District not cancel school today? It has been snowing steadily in Redmond all morning. Getting the kids is going to be a mess. Nice call.

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  78. Poulsbo: light snow 1 inch total,mid 30's and calm

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  79. OK. Now I'm frustrated. Snow in north seattle, out in Port Townsend and on Whidbey? But nada right here next to the Ballard Bridge? COME ON SNOW!

    Seriously, we've had a few snow showers this morning with one right now dropping a bunch of snow. But nothing sticking. The local weather station on Wunderground has had temps above freezing all morning till just a few minutes ago though. So I am hopeful.

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  81. 12:45 - two inches in Port Ludlow WA and 33 degrees. Very little wind. Snowing more or less steadily.

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  82. I'm in Greenlake on the north side of the lake and it's been snowing lightly but steadily since about 11:00. At least a heavy 1" on the ground right now.

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  83. Snow stopped in Northgate area.
    Accumulation from 9-12:30 was about 3/4 inch. Warm enough now to be mushing on the streets.

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  84. We have about 3/4" accumulation in upper Ballard (west end 75th St) since about 10:30am.

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  85. Watching this is fascinating! I can imagine that the math it takes to do these model runs is really complex and that with the major warm/cold fronts and with the Puget Sound being very close to the boundary that the models are straining at the edge of computability, at least with the computers available. It wasn't that long ago that the NSA or Dept of Defense were the only people who had the horsepower to crunch these kinds of numbers. And I'm sure the model variance just increases with the entropy associated with a big storm along a major warm/cold front. Talk about hitting a moving target. It really is amazing that we can even do it. It really is.

    Thanks, Cliff, for a glimpse into the science. I would love to see a blog post about the construction of forecast models, as all I know is what you've written on this site. This event would be a fantastic example of how small changes in the input can really make some big changes in what get output and where the models converge. Thanks again for all of your work!!!

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  86. Bellingham Suburb at 500' elevation: 9 inches at 8:30 this morning.

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  87. City of Redmond is already closing roads due to the snow.

    https://twitter.com/#!/CityOfRedmond

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  88. 4" at Martha Lake!

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  89. 1" of wet mush on the ground on top of Phinney Ridge.

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  90. 1" of wet mush on top of Phinney Ridge, actively dusting.

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  91. Cliff, you were the one predicting Snowmageddon and Slushmageddon. It's not just the Times...

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  92. 8" in Greenbank, in the middle of Whidbey Island. It only just stopped snowing an hour ago.

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  93. Love the maps and the detail on the latest models!Love the local focus and the frequent updates! We are fortunate to have you working for us here in the NW.

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  94. Tiny ice crystals falling on wet pavement at MLK and Madison.

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  95. In Crown Hill (330 ft elev) near Dick's on Holman. About an inch accumulated from 10:10 to about noon. Slowed way down now.

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  96. I live 4 miles south of Stanwood (unsure of exact elevation but likely over 150'). I measure and post data for CoCoRaHs. I have 9 inches as of 12:30 pm. Snow has finally stopped but was really piling up between 5:30 am and 12:30 pm. Digital thermometer now at 34.5F so may get a little melting before any more develops overnight.

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  97. 10" on the ground in West Oly at an elevation of about 200 feet. And more to come....

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  98. Bellevue just north of downtown...a dusting on the ground at 1:00

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  99. Yep. LWSD just cancelled classes after starting 2 hours late. Don't they read this blog?

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  100. Sunny in Olympia and Very wet 2" at seallevel

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  101. 14 inches on the grass here in Arlington (just north and west of town at 200-300 feet elevation) and has been coming down hard since about 5:30. Only 1-2 when we went to bed last night. If this is the little preview, we are in trouble. And I love snow.

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  102. In southern Redmond (about 300' MSL) it was snowing heavily between 12pm-1pm. It was barely cold enough for the snow to stick to sidewalks but became slush on roads as cars drove over it.

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  103. I wonder why the temp is going up at SeaTac. It seems like it should be dropping with the predicted cold moving in from up north???

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  104. In Kirkland here. Received just over 7" of snow yesterday but rain overnight melted a lot of the snow (still about 3-4" on the ground). It started snowing here at ~11am or so and we have picked up what looks like another inch or so with the snow still going strong.

    Temperatures here are just around the freezing mark according to my thermometer.

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  105. It has been snowing for a couple hours in Ballard but now I'm watching it turn to slush.

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  106. We've got about 14" of snow here total in Mill Creek highlands - 2-3" from Saturday, about 7" from Sunday, 1" Monday, and then at least another 3-4" from the blizzard this morning... another few inches would put it almost on par with 2008's December snowstorm. Can't even imagine what another foot would be like on top of this. Still, prepared to not even get any more given the wide cone of uncertainty with this storm.

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  107. Pouring down snow 15 miles NE of Bellingham. It's been fitfully snizzling all morning, but now nearly white out. Temp has been right around 20 since 6am. But there is a patch of blue sky about 5 miles west. Go figure!
    Hoping for enough snow to definitively close WWU tomorrow.

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  108. Around 5" new since about 5 a.m. this morning, and still snowing as of 1:15 p.m. 3 miles N of Monroe, 400' elevation.

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  109. 1:15 pm Port Townsend - stopped snowing about an hour ago. The wind picked up. About 4 inches on the ground in Uptown PT.

    Craig Wier

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  110. I'm feeling a bit better about changing our flight out of Seattle to tonight (we were originally leaving tomorrow night). I'd rather be safe than sorry and try to get out before the big batches of snow show up! It might not be what was initially anticipated, but you never know...

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  111. 14+ inches of snow south of North Bend at 980'

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  112. After nothing but a dusting finally have a few inches in north Everett (near new Providence building).

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  113. After nothing but a dusting now have at least 3" in north Everett near new Providence building.

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  114. 1:15 pm Uptown Port Townsend. Snow stopped about an hour ago, and the wind picked up a bit. About 4 inches on the ground.

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  115. South Park - nada. Zero. But I still had to take my kid to school 2 hours late, and right as I came home the school called to tell me to pick him up early. It's 39 and not even raining.

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  116. I live on the Redmond-Woodinville border and we had about 9 inches by Sunday. It looks like we've had another couple inches so far today.

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  117. Snow showers started in Ballard/Greenwood at about 9:30, and started sticking 10-10:15am. Came out of an appointment at 11:15 to Winter Wonderland. By 12:15 it was getting melty, and almost stopped snowing by 1pm, including some patches of blue sky. 20 minutes later, it's getting dark again, and snow seems to be picking back up, but it's hard to tell. 1/2-1" of snow here in Greenwood right now?

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  118. This cartoon shows kind of what we are experiencing: http://xkcd.com/831/

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  119. North end of Blakely Island (northern San Juans), about 1.5" during the night. Sunny and beautiful right now, but it was snowing a little bit ago.

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  120. So far, we have about 3" accumulated in the back yard (including the stuff left over from before). I'm in the triangle between Bothell/Woodinville/Kirkland.

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  121. We got approx. 2 inches in Shoreline. Main roads are clear now.

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  122. I'm in Mill Creek/Snohomish/Bothell/Everett area and we have 7-9 inches accumulated over the last few days. My house is in a perpetual cloud. It will be sunny two miles away and complete fog and rain on my house.

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  123. Can someone please explain the 'faustian bargan' metaphor to me. I know the story of Faust, I just don't get how it relates to snow storms.

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  124. I live in the heart of Wedgwood, and we're up to about 2.5 to 3 inches!

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  125. In East Stanwood, at 200'MSL, and about 2 miles east of Skagit and Port Susan Bays. Between the middle of the night and noon on Tuesday, we've had 8" of new snow. Two inches of that was between about 10am and noon. Nothing since noon. (The 2" from Saturday night was about all gone by yesterday.)

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  126. Nothing happening in south Seattle, but skies are getting darker.

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  127. We had about 3/4" starting around 10:30 here in Ballard at 68th St. Down at Market St it was snowing but not sticking. Now at 1:30, it's stopped snowing and starting to melt. The temp is 35.

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  128. Cliff, I always enjoy your posts on the weather. I really enjoy them when you spice 'em up with comments on local institutions, politics, whatever... Don't hold back.

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  129. 14" on the ground at north marysville. Not much weight to it; huge fluffy snowflakes. Warming up.

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  130. Hey just a heads up. The BBC has put this story in the top three spots on their homepage and as of 1:30pm Seattle time it is the most read headline.

    "Seattle Braces for Huge Snowfall"
    Most snow in a generation.... etc

    This means it will probably miss us.

    Wow is this hyped!

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  131. Distracting? Actually I think the controversy attracts readers to make themselves more aware of the weather and how it works around here. That's a good thing.

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  132. Up in Bellingham, we've had light flakes today with pretty much nothing in the way of accumulation.

    I live just against the base of the foothills in Whatcom County, and we've got 11 inches on the ground -- got probably four inches last night.

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  133. Here near downtown Fall City, we didn't have any snow today until it started to hail 30 minutes ago. It's still mostly hail but it looks like it will turn into snow shortly.
    Thanks Cliff for your insight.

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  134. Jeez, YOU were predicting snowmageddon on Monday night then you blast the headline and scale back. I don't expect us to know what the weather is going to do. It's silly to get frustrated that you can't plan for the weather. What I get frustrated with is experts trying to scoop the report and then saying it's really difficult to predict.

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  135. Hi there,
    We're in Clinton on Whidbey Island. Scatchet Head area. 3-4 inches so far. Snow has been falling since early morning.

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  136. Sitting here on the line between First Hill and Capitol Hill. It flurried briefly around 11. It is cold-ish and not a sign of flake or raindrop. The sky looks like lead, though. I'm actually hoping for more than a dusting tonight - getting me out of work would be so nice. Hell, maybe I'll just call in anyway, out of blind fear like half the staff did today.

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  137. Here in downtown Edmonds we have had about 2" this morning. The ground was bare at sunrise.

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  138. Sunset Hill - Elev = 80 ft
    Started snowing at 1030, stopped three hours later. Accumulation of 1/2" wet snow. Temp has not budged from 36F

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  139. Currently on top of Magnolia: brightening sky with patches of blue visible; looks like we may even get a sun break. Only precip is the tears of parents rearranging their lives since the schools opened at 11 and closed at 1.

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  140. On Tuesday afternoon in Ballard (NW 64th Street/28 Ave NW) after several hours of snow, 1/2 inch of snow covering garden and rooftops, slush in alley and side streets, but arterials are clear. The sun is poking through a brief break in the clouds.

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  141. Nothing on the north end of vashon except spotty sunbreaks and some gusts!

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  142. In Brier, a new 3 inches this morning on top of the previous 3 inches in undisturbed areas. Wet and sloppy.

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  143. About 3 inches in the hills above Woodinville. Snowing light to moderately continuously since 0830.

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  144. Down here in SW Washington up the Lewis river 10 mi. out of
    Woodland WA at about 1200'MSL had 18" this AM and 8 more by 2PM for about 26" on the ground--bring it on!!!

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  145. Flakes but no lasting accumulation yet at UW.

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  146. SW Washington--10 mi. up the Lewis River out of Woodland WA at 1200'MSL have 26" on the ground as of 2PM--still coming down and 30 degrees F.

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  147. Sun just broke thru for sec in downtown seattle. Can we post photos here?

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  148. My most recent yardstick on the deck measurement says 10.5 inches here in Lake Stevens. It's been snowing since 8am or so and doesn't seem interested in stopping any time soon.

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  149. SUNNY & BLUE SKIES IN WEST SEATTLE. BOO!

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  150. sunny & blue skies in west seattle. boo!

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  151. Had maybe an inch Monday evening. Woke up to about an inch more. It's been snowing off and on all day here in Eatonville, some of the showers have been pretty heavy. We've probably gotten about 2-3 additional inches today but the temp was up to 37 at one time and was melting some of it. When the temps were at 35+ the winds were out of the S/SE. The temp has now dropped to 33...31-32 in heavier showers... the wind is now going back and forth between SW and NW....It's cooling down though...that's a good thing. I want a ton of snow but we usually warm up fast when a warm front approaches so I'm kind of pessamistic about the forcast of 8-14 inches and not warming up and raining until Thursday. Time will tell....we'll see!

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  152. So how much in Seattle? Is anyone else going crazzzzy hoping for snow and hearing, "We really dodged a bullet there." What is it? Maybe another blog post explaining what actually is going to happen in Seattle. I work but didn't you say the exact same the Seattle Times said today yesterday after the newspaper deadline was probably over.

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  153. Hansville here-on the northwest side of the Kitsap Pennisula, just north of the bridge, facing Hood Canal, 200 feet in elevation --it's been snowing steadily since 6 am -- all sorts of variations -- light snow mist, heavy wet flakes, fine powder, ice pearls...minimal wind, hovering around freezing...starting to accumulate...very pretty!

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  154. Shoreline: 2.5 in, light snow at 2:29PM

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  155. Inch and a half between 8 and 1ish this afternoon and then a pause. Snowing again now.

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  156. My kid in Bellingham says it's snowing and there's about a foot on the ground. Is that some other system unrelated to the one we're talking about?

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  157. Nothing happening on QA. Sun peeking out.

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  158. Um... We've received 3" today in Everett, for a total of just over 7" so far. Looking at the radar, for the past 3 hrs consistently there's a stream of snow going back to almost the coast. While I'm not a meterologist, nor do I play one on TV... it seems like some of the doomsday might not be that far off. If this pattern continues... I'm going to be up to my butt in 14" of partly cloudy up here. :)

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  159. 2 inches+ in MLT since this morning. It stopped for a while and started melting, but picking up again it seems. Need to shovel the driveway.
    I saw the piece on BBC as well and smiled. It is on the main news page now.
    Kids are thrilled for schools being delayed first and then cancelled.
    I agree that here snow storms and thunder storms never happen if the media start talking about them. Oh well...

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  160. Sun is out in Kirkland 98033 2:45PM. (for now I guess)

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  161. 14 inches on the ground in the hills just a few minutes east of Snohomish. Been snowing steadily since noon.

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  162. Two to four inches in the Port Townsend area, lots of sun right now.

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  163. Cliff, I saw you were interested in snow totals. We're on the very south end of Whidbey. It's been snowing off and on all day and I'd say we have about three inches.

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  164. I'm seeing the warm mass to the south pushing ALL our cold air out leaving us with rain...

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  165. All I see is a warm wet mass to the south that looks like it will push all the cold air north leaving us with rain, or, snow very rapidly turning to rain...

    Accumulations in Oly-Everett: ZERO to 1"

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  166. Out here on the coast (Aberdeen), we are in Limbo-land. We have about 2 inches of old snow that is slowly melting. Had hail awhile ago. Temp is about 37 and weather says "rain and sleet." I like your blog, Cliff, and I trust what you've got to say, knowing that no one is clairvoyant.

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  167. In defense of Cliff, I would think that if he were in charge of communicating the forecast to the general public, he'd be much more cautious about the possibility of model errors. His blog targets an educated audience, not the general public. The general public always misinterprets the forecasts. When the forecast says "Chance of rain; some will not get any at all", the average person interprets it as a promise that it will rain, and if it doesn't, they say the weatherman was wrong. I doubt Cliff would say "Snowmageddon" to the moronic general public.

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  168. Woke up to 6" in Mount Vernon @ about 250' EL. At work in Concrete at EL 220' there was 8" to 10" overnight, and another 4" to 5" during the day

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  169. Cathcart Clearview area --10 inches--very wet and heavy and coming down heavy again at 3 pm. Never really did stop snowing today--shoveled once yesterday and twice already today.

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  170. Cliff, if there was uncertainty to the models (and being meteorology, there always is) it probably wasn't the best idea to begin your last post like so, "I just looked at the latest model runs and it seems clear that we are going to have a major (but not a record) snowstorm, one that is NOT followed by major warming and heavy rain."

    Though you go on to state uncertainty, by leading with such a certain statement you likely misled a lot of readers who take your word as gospel. Yes, ideally they shouldn't, but know that they do. I personally knew better but many (even your most intelligent) readers don't.

    So you've got to be careful about how you state things. Now that you're a household name, you do have some degree of social responsibility towards how you put it. The credibility of not just yourself but the much-maligned science of meteorology, especially in this region, is a delicate matter and statements of certainty about forecasts should not be made lightly... if they're made at all.

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  171. 7+ inches (yesterday and today combined) in Echo Lake (near Malby, WA)

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  172. Sun's out in Leschi. I just saw a guy in an old mail Jeep selling ice cream along MLK. I'ma go wash my car, perhaps mow my lawn, which, strangely is as long and green as it was all summer. It's weird, because when there's snow in the area, we get nailed in this nayborhood.

    What's next week lookin' like???

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  173. Is there still a possibility of significant snow in Seattle, or has the projected weather pattern changed so significantly throughout the day

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  174. Cle Elum WA has had over ten inches in the last 16 hours. Hasnt stopped snowing for over 24 hours now and its only tuesday.

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  175. Cliff -

    My very scientific snow measuring device indicates 8 inches of snow on my back deck in Mill Creek off Seattle Hill Road.

    Jerry

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  176. Ooops! Too late! I already had my family mummified in expectation of a post-apocalyptic future!

    About 4" on the ground on the south end of Whidbey Island.

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  177. Here's a webcam looking west from my boat moored on Swinomish Channel in La Conner, with 10-second refresh rate. Beautiful sun for the past hour or so after some fat flakes around 12-1; now clouding up again at 3 PM.

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  178. Cliff -

    I read 8 inches of snow on the level on my back deck in Mill Creek just off Seattle Hill Road

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  179. Still nothing on the ground in Ballard.

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  180. Dry as a bone on downtown Mercer Island. It tried to snow late this morning and pretty much failed. (The local north end QFC parking lot has been full since early this afternoon, however.)

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  181. Overhyping by the newspapers and pseudo-meteorologists on broadcast media is commonplace and does a huge disservice.

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  182. Are you going to reimburse me for the emergency errand run I had to make?

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  183. blue sky...for the moment, downtown Seattle

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  184. Its been snowing almost non stop since 7 am this morning in Monroe. I was a little concerned when I woke up to rain but then it quickly changed to snow and its been that way all day. When might we get another update from Dr Mass? I greatly appreciate your insight.

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  185. The reaction to snow around here always amazes. LWSD did its best and started 2 hours late...fine. But then as it started to snow, they panicked and called it off at 1:00. I'm no expert but I could see by looking at the radar that the system was moving out and that keeping the kids at school til 3:30while the snow melted and the road crews (I've actually seen snow plows in Redmond) did their thing would be safer. But no, everyone had to go get their kids while it was snowing. Oh well, I just hope it counted as a school day so there's one less make up day.

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  186. I'm on Queen Anne hill, and we have exactly nothing going on. Patches of blue sky - but I do see some deep gray moving our way.

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  187. 3pm - sunshine and blue skies over Port Ludlow. We have about two, maybe 2 1/2 inches of snow on the ground; temps around 34.

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  188. woke up to 6" in Mount Vernon @ 250' EL. Got to work in Concrete with 8" on the ground this morning around 7am. another 5" through today, sunny now 3:30pm

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  189. At 3:00 p.m on Tuesday we have about 8" at our central Port Angeles home at about 300' elevation. It has been snowing on and off all day.

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  190. Maple Falls near Mt. Baker (774 ft.)
    Friday overnight: 9 inches
    Sunday: 4 inches
    Monday: 6 inches
    Monday overnight 10-12 inches
    Tuesday: 4-5 inches and still snowing
    WOW!!!!!!

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  191. I really hope it's not too bad, as I need to be at the airport at 9:30 am!! yikes

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  192. UW campus. No snow no rain. 4.20pm.

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  193. Cliff-

    Doesn't sound like you agree with the NWS 3:55 pm forecast:

    "FURTHER NORTH IN THE SEATTLE METRO AREA...SNOWFALL AMOUNTS WILL TAPER OFF FROM HEAVIER AMOUNTS NEAR TACOMA TO LESSER AMOUNTS UP NEAR EVERETT. LOOKING FOR 5 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW...THE LOW-END OF THE RANGE OCCURRING NEAR EVERETT AND THE UPPER END OF THIS RANGE FURTHER SOUTH NEAR TACOMA."

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  194. 4 inches on the ground here in Port Townsend, beautiful blue sky. It's pretty patchy though, I've heard anywhere from 1/2 inch up to 6 inches depending where in PT.

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  195. There was 15 inches of snow in Acme this morning (Jan 17th). It is still coming down.

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  196. Cliff, all schools but one were closed for today in Lewis County. Centralia College closed up at 1PM and won't be open tomorrow. There is still a good amount of snow in Chehalis, but we haven't had much snowfall today. Any possibility you can do deeper look into what will happen here in the next 36 to 48 hours?

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  197. So far about 8 inches total snow at my house in the Mill Creek area, 400 feet above sealevel. I am doing quite a dance trying to protect my 4 foot grapefruit tree, planted in the ground, from the cold on the one hand and the mildew (from the humidity inside my closed greenhouse) on the other.

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  198. 2 or 20 inches. does not matter too much. 1.5 inches shuts Seattle down.

    Think I will order 10,000 white rubber wristbands with "WWJFD" on them. WWJFD stands for "What would Jim Foreman do?

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  199. Cliff, it's odd that you keep editing posts without noting that you've edited ~ to the point of actually removing your own previous observations. Makes it confusing to keep up with you ~ and a bit harder to put stock in this blog.

    As for current conditions here in up here in the Lynden area (north of Bellingham), we have 4"-6" or so of snow on the ground ~ nothing major by any means. Temps in the mid-teens with a slight northeast wind. The evening was lovely, with some clearing.

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