A lot of snow for a few, not a lot of snow for many

SEATTLE -- Snow is still falling in spots around Western Washington, but aside from the Hood Canal and Kitsap County areas, as expected it hasn't been much to write home about.

The main snow "winner" was indeed the Hood Canal area, from about Shelton north along 101 through Brinnon and Hoodsport and also western and central Kitsap County where as much as 2-5 inches of snow had fallen with potential for another 1 to 3 inches overnight. A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect there until 4 a.m. Wednesday.

For the rest of us, it's been just a plain rain or, if you have a few hundred feet elevation, a wet, sloppy snow with no real accumulations as temperatures have remained in the mid-upper 30s. The air mass is just barely on the edge of being cold enough to snow and we just don't have any arctic air in B.C. to help keep our temperatures down.

The steady precipitation was set to taper off just after midnight, replaced by more intense but scattered showers as cold, unstable air flows in behind the night's cold front. Snow levels will remain roughly where they are through the night so expect some more hit-and-miss rain and/or snow showers with still no accumulations expected beyond a dusting except in the aforementioned warning area above. Temperatures will hover in the mid 30s.

It'll also remain breezy but all wind warnings have been dropped -- expect gusts to around 25-35 mph.

Generally snow levels will remain around 500 feet on Wednesday but as the spinning area of low pressure at the center of tonight's storm moves across Western Washington, the air mass will remain cool and unstable.

That will trigger more of these scattered showers that could be heavy. And once again, some of those showers could be intense enough to temporarily drop the snow levels down to near the sea level, if not all the way to sea level.

Thus, while temperatures will bounce up to around 40 in between the showers, when you get under one of those showers, the temperature can quickly drop to the low-mid 30s and you might get a burst of snow -- especially if you're at a few hundred feet. But again, once the shower passes, the temperature will bounce back up well above freezing and the snow will quickly melt. The showers could also feature other frozen precipitation varieties like graupel or hail. And maybe even a few strikes of lightning for good measure.

This marginal threat of snow lingers into Wednesday night and, to a lesser extent, Thursday, as there will still be some showers roaming around with lingering cold air mass that could drop the snow levels in passing showers, then melt it off once it stops. Lows Wednesday night will be in the low-mid 30s and highs Thursday will be in the low 40s in between the showers.

So to recap: Seattle proper, this is just hit-and-miss snow with little accumulations in spots and not looking like any kind of commute-threatening ordeal. Best chances of snow accumulations are in the Hood Canal area. Overall not a big deal.

By Friday, snow levels are up to 1,000 feet and keep climbing through the weekend to more seasonal levels. We'll see rain at times Friday with showers on Saturday, decreasing to nearly dry status by Sunday. Highs by then will be comfortably into the upper 40s, if not low 50s.

Rain returns for early next week and we could see yet another bout of this "fringe snow" stuff for the middle of next week as well.

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