March 07, 2019

Last Chance for Lowland Snow for the Winter

Get ready to put away the snow shovel.

And you can soon store the bags of salt.

The lowland snow season is about to end.

But we have one more shot tonight...and then it is probably over.

The latest NOAA/NWS HRRR model forecast for total snowfall between now and 9 AM tomorrow morning is predicting little snow over Seattle, but an east-west band of as much as 4-5 inches from Port Townsend to Marysville.  The origin?  A weak approaching weather system and some low-level convergence of air in the north Sound.

Currently, some light showers are moving through (see the radar), but temperatures are too warm for lowland snow.

The freezing level is now (5 PM) around 1700 ft and thus the snow level is about 700 ft.  With the sun going down, the lower atmosphere will cool and an approaching system tonight will bring more showers that will further lower the snow level (from melting and evaporation)  You can see the enhanced area offshore in the latest infrared satellite image:

Saturday and Sunday should be dry with temperatures near 50F.  And next week, temperatures should warm up a bit, something suggested by the last NOAA/NWS ensemble prediction (see below).  No heat wave....but getting close to normal.  But no lowland snow.  

And I need to buy a new snow shovel...mine is a crumpled disaster.


  1. Yay, no more snow--what good news!

    My blueberry, blackberry and strawberry plants just arrived. I'll be setting them out in the cold to harden them off appropriately and then into the ground they go.

    I'll go shopping for a new sun hat too. I'm ready for spring and lots of good times.

  2. Started snowing around 8pm, and within an hour we had received an inch near Lake Goodwin, Snohomish County. It's 10:30 now, and we have at least 5 inches, and it is still coming down in fat flakes. Unbelievable weather. The last snow had not even melted, and it just keeps coming! I hope you're right and this is the last snow of the year, professor! I'm craving some warmth right now!

  3. Big Rock at Mt Vernon heavy snow flakes at 11 pm by 4:00 am 2 inches soft fresh snow. Just 200 ft elevation / north facing foothills allows the snow to accumulate. Main streets and I-5 are clear, some fog. I can hear fresh grit hitting underside of the car.

  4. Started snowing in Ellensburg (we live about 6 miles NW of town) first thing yesterday morning. 5" by midafternoon with a total of 19" on the level. 6 degrees this morning and mixed fog and sun. Our shoveled piles reach over 5' high. We've about given up on spring!

  5. hail last night and big fat flakes dusting the ground near Northgate at 9:30 this morning

  6. Still snowing here in Lacey at 10:05A. Time to turn it off!!!!!!!!

  7. as we continue to pour CO2 into the atmosphere and the oceans can no longer act as a heat sink as they did in the past, we are going to get more and more erratic 'weather'... and when we get erratic weather caused by the feedback loop of more water vapour, caused by ice melt, caused by more heat from CO2 emissions, we're going to suffer food shortages due to crop failures... coming to a city near you sooner than expected....

    RAINING IN GREENLAND, IN WINTER.. this research/story was actually featured on public radio yesterday; i heard it several times...

    Study here: 'Increased Greenland melt triggered by large-scale, year-round cyclonic moisture intrusions', by Marilena Oltmanns et al., is at:

    story here:

  8. "rain is like acid, burning Greenland snow"...

    and when we lose the snow and ice, we lose the albedo effect.... which means we get more heat in the system because there's less snow reflecting heat back into space and we get more water vapour which means more erratic weather, more extreme weather events....

    keywords - feedback loops, tipping points

    professor Jason Box..... BBC video:

  9. 3 inches and still snowing on the Key Peninsula 10 miles west of Gig Harbor.

  10. Snowing here in Clearview this morning, again. So glad to see my raised beds emerge when it thaws, time for snow to go!! And hoping cliff is correct that this is the end!

    I’m wondering about a comment I saw here a few posts ago, about the dry air causing scratchy throats. I used to live in Nevada and always used a humidifier. I haven’t revived that here, but that post made me realize I’ve been putting up with this very sore throat, and subsequent congestion , for the past week thinking it’s an lingering winter cold!
    Now where is that cast iron teapot I used to have....?!

  11. Snow amounts in Metro Vancouver ranged from 0-12" yesterday and this morning depending on location and elevation.

  12. Snow in the air, none sticking overlooking Sinclair Inlet, but upwards of two inches in the Kitsap Lake area. Weird

  13. My snow shovels are all busted, the regular shovels too, and I'm rationing ice melt by the grain. We've had at least 5 feet here in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, yeah, expected, but most winters we don't get much more than the lowlands. Have another 10 inches forecast next week. Never had more than a dusting in March before.

    It's not the snow so much that has been the problem, but the cold that turned that 5 feet into a glacier (thus the broken shovels) and the night it rained on top of 2 feet of freshly fallen snow, turning it into the consistency and weight of wet cement, that we had to get off the roofs.

    Oh, and shoveling foot after foot of snow off the roofs and the cars turns into piles of 10 feet or more, all that is still here. It's claustrophobic being surround by all the white. As soon as we get paths shoveled and even see a bit of grass, we get another round dumped on us.

    My chickens are sneaking into the house and logging into travel websites. I think they're up to something...

  14. Sahila -

    Interesting predictions. I have been on this message board for quite some time, and you know what predictions we have been hearing over and over here the last decade? That Seattle would never have another major snow event. That we would continue to have warmer and warmer winters. That the Cascade snowpack would collapse (that one has been going for 20+ years). Dr. Mass has pushed back on many of them, but they still persist, year after year.

    And once again, these predictions prove to be 100% wrong. Just completely, totally wrong, with zero accountability.

    Curious... why should those of us who have been through this now multiple times... believe your predictions? And also - what damage do these failed predictions do to science?

  15. 100% wrong?

    “Persistent weather conditions, including dry and wet spells, generally have increased in the United States, perhaps due to rapid Arctic warming, according to a new study. Persistent weather conditions can lead to weather extremes such as drought, heat waves, PROLONGED COLD and storms that can cost millions of dollars in damage and disrupt societies and ecosystems, the study says.”

  16. "Sahila"s "predictions" are assertions rather than hypotheses. Therein lies the objectionable quality of her submissions to this blog: she makes sweeping, apocalyptic claims for which she provides little, if any, empirical support.

    "Sahlia": What if the arctic ocean sea ice thaws completely on, at least, a semi-permanent basis?

    Think of lake (or sea) effect snowfall. The populace of the regions in the lee of the Great Lakes can well attest to the fact that such weather events occur with greatest frequency and intensity when temperatures are warm enough such that the lakes remain unfrozen.

    Earths greatest deserts are located in regions of high latitude. This is due to the fact that very low temperatures limit the evaporation of water into the atmosphere, and coupled with the frozen surface of the surrounding water bodies, produces extremely dry conditions not conducive to significant precipitation.

    Now, with what we know about the climate of the arctic and the dynamics of lake/bay/ocean enhanced snowfall, imagine that my original premise is reality.

    It seems almost certain that the arctic would become a dramatically wetter environment and that it could be reasonably assumed that a substantial increase in snowfall might result.

    Even with warming temperatures, a sufficient increase in snowfall in the arctic would result in correspondingly increased albedo along with snow cover persisting increasingly late into the year.

    Think about the presence of glaciers at unusually low elevations/latitudes in regions with especially high winter precipitation like the North Cascades.

    Is it not plausible, or at least conceivable, that loss of arctic ocean sea ice, due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, could induce climate feedback(s) which would essentially reverse the warming produced by said emissions?

    The point of this submission is not to suggest that I happen to know best (I know enough to know what I don't know): about what is happening or what is to come; or that readers ought heed my words. It's simply a thought experiment utilizing some basic scientific concepts which ideally might induce, minimally, a moment of heterodox thought regardless of the readers political affiliation which, very sadly, is conspicuously predictive of their understanding/interpretation of such concepts.

  17. are they my predictions, sunsnow12?

    i dont remember making any predictions....

    i'm just posting research data and observations about climate and weather instability;

    there's no argument about what happens in the ecosphere when all the ice melts --- that's just elementary physics and chemistry and biology....

    the only question left is how soon the most disruptive part of the chain of events we've initiated (by messing with the chemical make up of the atmosphere and the oceans) takes full effect...

    science has already indicated that we've moved out of the stable state, that a new stable state will take thousands of years to establish itself and it's highly unlikely to go back to/be the same stable state we were in before because we're not going to get the ice poles back.... once the multi year ice is gone, it's gone forever... Arctic Feed Back Dynamics Presentation by David Wasdell, Envisionation with the Apollo-Gaia Project, Producer Nick Breeze at:

    these are not my predictions.....
    this is happening right now....
    the only questions remaining are: "how soon till we get to the worst case scenario given the element of exponential change now in effect?" and "how bad will it really be?

    time will tell....

    1. May I help you, Sahila?

  18. Well spoken Sunsnow12. It's nice to read from someone who has been around the blog for a while.

    I remember Al Gore speaking in the 2009 about how our children would never see snow and the Ice would melt by 2014... clearly he is clueless(doubtful) or there seems to be a big incentive for not offering a well-rounded scientific look at things.

    Nature is cyclical and according to the new CMIP6 data ,we are now entering continued solar decline with the forthcoming solar cycles (we just left an inter-glacial period). And there are a host of repercussions that could come with this, including increased galactic cosmic rays- which are more prominent in Washington.

    From Nasa's site:

    There are unique space weather effects that get stronger during solar minimum. For example, the number of galactic cosmic rays that reach Earth’s upper atmosphere increases during solar minimum. Galactic cosmic rays are high energy particles accelerated toward the solar system by distant supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy.

    Pesnell says that “During solar minimum, the sun’s magnetic field weakens and provides less shielding from these cosmic rays. This can pose an increased threat to astronauts traveling through space.”

    I think we should prepare and safeguard our infrastructure for any potential disaster- whether it be a warm or cold related event. But it's absolutely irresponsible to focus on only one potential scenario- especially when a cooling earth or a changing sun could have wide-ranging disruptions to our power grid and global crop growth.

    And making any of this research partisan or political in any degree has been a huge disservice to open-minded inquiry and thought. You can't hint at any of this scientific data without people associating you with a political party or politician- assuming you agree and associate with everything else that person stands for.

  19. @John Doe

    I don’t think warmer and snowy would make the Arctic Ocean refreeze any faster. And worth mentioning: a foot of snow on land or 50 feet... roughly the same albedo.

  20. I’m surprised by the snowpack numbers. Most of Oregon is well above normal, most of Washington is slightly below.

    1. Most of BC is also below normal snowpack and the NW part of the province is only at about 60% of average. One of the coldest February's on record has also been much drier than normal.I wonder if the spring rains are gonna come this year? Last year we had a dry and warm spell in mid March followed by a very wet late March and April.

  21. I live just a few houses away from Tom Jones, (as he said, just a few miles NW of Ellensburg) ... I'm thinking that all this snow on the ground won't melt until June!

  22. Sahila:

    "i'm just posting research data and observations about climate and weather instability"

    Wrong. You’re just an annoyance. Lease stop comment-spamming.

  23. Snape:

    50' of snow cover will persist far longer than 1' = increased albedo (time)

    50' or 1' of snow cover extending over a greater extent of land surface = increased albedo (space)

    It's worth (re)mentioning that I don't really believe the scenario I postulated. It was just something to think about rather than me telling you what will happen.

    We know that the mass of glacial ice in the North Cascades is decreasing but we don't know why because we don't really have a detailed knowledge of how Earths climate works at least in a way that allows us to formulate highly accurate predictions especially at and below the synoptic scale.

    You and I may or may not see eye to eye on this or that but I think we both agree that "Sahila" spends way too much time watching revelatory Youtube videos and then posting links to them because she for some reason needs everyone else to see the light just as has she.

    Or maybe we disagree on that as well. Who cares?

  24. So when is this stuck-lazy jetstream going to move on and get us at least back to normal temperatures? Also, I see that this has occured partly because of extremely warm mid-Pacific air impinging on the Arctic which has forced the cold down towards us? I see Alaska is way above average temperature for this time of year.

  25. Hi Cliff- I'm currently tracking the Iditarod (thru Iditarod Insider) and wondering about the weather. The mushers experienced a lot of running water coming off of the Alaska Range (small rivers), 34 degree temperatures (which I think is hard on the dogs as it is way too warm for them) and just outside of Grayling, a run through tussocks with no snow on the ground. Do you think this is a result of climate change? I know they have had to revise the start location for the last couple of years due to little snow (not this year tho); I also understand Alaska is feeling the effects more quickly and dramatically then the lower 48. Thoughts? Thanks!

  26. Dear Matt....

    thank you for your comment....

    no one is asking you to read my comments....

    you could scroll/stroll on by....

    you have the power....

    dont be afraid to use it...

    i wont be offended!



  27. as to solar minimums and sunspot activity and solar wind.......

    "Many climate scientists agree that sunspots and solar wind could be playing a role in climate change, but the vast majority view it as very minimal and attribute Earth’s warming primarily to emissions from industrial activity—and they have thousands of peer-reviewed studies available to back up that claim.

    Peter Foukal of the Massachusetts-based firm Heliophysics, Inc., who has tracked sunspot intensities from different spots around the globe dating back four centuries, also concludes that such solar disturbances have little or no impact on global warming. Nevertheless, he adds, most up-to-date climate models—including those used by the United Nations’ prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—incorporate the effects of the sun’s variable degree of brightness in their overall calculations.

    Ironically, the only way to really find out if phenomena like sunspots and solar wind are playing a larger role in climate change than most scientists now believe would be to significantly reduce our carbon emissions. Only in the absence of that potential driver will researchers be able to tell for sure how much impact natural influences have on the Earth’s climate."

    CONTACTS: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center,; Token Conservative Blog,; IPCC,

  28. John Doe

    I think our views are pretty similar. We both notice the huge amount of uncertainty WRT climate science. The idea of “lake effect snow” you mentioned (from Arctic warming) is a good example. Just giving you a hard time.

    Regarding Sahila, most of her links are interesting and from credible sources, i.e today’s information about sunspots. Yeah, she needs to do a background check on a few people - Wadham, Beckwith, etc, no biggie though as far as I’m concerned.

  29. Well, it just snowed on the Eastside. Again. About those warmer temperatures.....

  30. March 12th: light dusting of snow on the vegetation and roofs in Snohomish, 140ft elevation.


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