Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow for the Morning Commute?

Right now, there is very little precipitation in the area as shown by the regional radars (see image).
 A few snow showers over SW Washington, stretching up south of Tacoma and south Seattle (not apparent on the radar).  Keep in mind that snow does not show up well on radar and the south Sound is distant from the Camano and Langley Hill radars.

Temperatures are cold enough for snow and will remain cold enough through lunchtime tomorrow.  The last observations over Seattle-Tacoma Airport (see below) indicates substantial warming to -2C around 750 hPa pressure (around 8-9 thousand feet), but well below-freezing air below.   Eventually we will get a shallow above-freezing layer aloft, but that will probably result in giving us sleet initially and not freezing rain until the warm air aloft deepens. 
The models all suggest pretty much the same thing.   A very weak upper air disturbance is approaching the region right now. Seattle should get only a light dusting at most because the air approaching the Olympics is from the NW and we are in the rain/snow shadow.  There will be some light snow on the western slopes of the Cascades and in a band extending in NW Washington.  Light snow south of Seattle where rain shadowing from the Olympics is weak.

Here is the UW WRF snowfall for the next 24 h.  Nothing in Seattle.  Everett to Bellingham perhaps a half inch to an inch. 

The NOAA/NWS High Resolution Rapid Refresh shows a similar story for snow totals ending at noon Tuesday.  I have really come to appreciate HRRR, which is updated and run EVERY HOUR.

 Anyway, we don't have any strong systems coming in and there is no reason to expect heavier amounts of snow .   Seattle should get  a pass on snow.  A no-snow pass.


  1. Very light fine snow in Wedgwood now, barely perceptible on face, a thin scattering on tops of cars but not on the ground.

  2. very fine snow a few hours ago in olympia, and now it's coming down with much larger flakes.

  3. Cliff. I really appreciate the constant updates regarding snow. You are the man. If I ever become a UW student again (looking at grad school options now). I am going to go to your office and buy you lunch. You are the man.

    - Cheers!

  4. Just south of Chehalis at 450 feet, we have ongoing dustings of snow since last night. Mowed fields are green and white. Say upwards 1/8th-1/3rd inch. Deep pond is walkable, but ice pretty creaky, I stayed close to shore.

  5. I can't remember a more boring, disappointing, and utter waste of a subfreezing week than we just had here in Bellingham. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but ugh I could go for some snow.

  6. The nicest, most gradual warm-up from a hard freeze that I have ever seen in Seattle

    No hard rain, no freezing rain, no sleet, no snow.

    Just a gradual warming from Monday night to Tuesday night...lovely. A thing of beauty.