February 13, 2024

Some Lowland Snow is Coming Western Washington Late Wednesday and Thursday

Historically,  the window for lowland snow over western Washington closes the last week of February.

It appears that we are going to get some flakes before it is too late..... but not that many.



Let me start by showing you the latest forecast by the UW WRF prediction system.    Below is the forecast sea level pressure and low-level temperature map for 10 PM tomorrow (Wednesday) night.  

Cold air (blue color) is found in British Columbia, Alberta, and Montana.  Some pushes into eastern Washington.

A low-pressure center moves on to the northern Oregon coast, drawing cool air into western Washington.  The trouble for western Washington snow is that the low is a bit too far south and temperatures are marginal.  This pattern would push cool northeasterly flow through the Fraser River Valley into Whatcom County and the San Juans.




The latest UW high-resolution forecast for snow accumulation through 1 PM Thursday,  shows some lowland snow from roughly Olympia to Chehalis, and plenty over the south Cascades.  The southeast side of the Olympics gets a few flakes as well.

The Columbia Basin gets some light snow.


Nothing exciting perhaps, but snowflakes are always of interest.   There is, of course, some uncertainty in the forecast, and the way to get at that is to examine an ensemble of many forecasts.

The City of Seattle SNOWWATCH website shows the ensemble forecasts for Seattle (see below).  The gray lines are individual forecasts, and the ensemble average is in black.  Many forecasts are going zero, but the average is about .5 inches and snow depth would be much less than that.  Perhaps a dusting.  Quite possibly nothing.


In short, I would not be getting the sled out, but you might spot a few flakes.



11 comments:

  1. Hi Cliff, it looks like king5 news posted a video about how Washington’s mountain snowpack will decrease by half by the 2080’s. What is your thought on this?
    https://www.king5.com/article/tech/science/environment/shrinking-snowpack-cascade-mountains-environment-northwest/281-2c9820a0-0a3f-4c4a-bfce-a9926ce6b384


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    Replies
    1. he posted a blog about this a week or so back. Check it out

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  2. We've definitely had snow in the lowlands in March, even in the past 20 years. On April 12 and 13 of 2022, kelso got snow. Areas higher than 500 feet got as much as 8 inches.

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    1. If I'm not mistaken Portland also got snow those 2 days. So did eastern Washington, from Spokane to Pullman.

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  3. We have over an inch of snow on the ground out here towards the coast of Washington tonight, you are wrong on your thoughts!!

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  4. Snow falling hard in NE Lacey. At midnight we have at least an inch. It is beautifully bright in the middle of the night. Radar says it should continue through early morning. Kids will be excited to see it in the morning.

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  5. 4-5 inches in Port Orchard near Sidney and Wildwood

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  6. Started snowing this morning in Whatcom County. Temps above freezing but dew points below - no accumulation.

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  7. Ended up with just over 3" if snow overnight in between Aberdeen and Montesano, whoops, definitely more than just a few flakes.

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  8. 4-5" at 300 feet off Pioneer Hill Road in Poulsbo between 11pm - 4am 2/14-15. We did have enough for a little sledding! :) Rather than complain folks... Why don't we just ask Mr. Mass if he can explain what happened with the weather shift? Thanks for the blog and all the information I have learned over the last 10 years or so following you. Much appreciated!!!

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