Scattered reports of snow were mainly about an inch or less, but Spanaway reported 2-3 inches in some spots while a viewer in Graham reported 4 inches. Indeed, most of the "snow winners" appeared to be in the South Sound area and in the Cascade foothills -- recipients of most of the scattered showers that moved in off the Pacific Ocean.
The snow caused some schools to delay the start of classes (See the full list) and Winter Weather Advisories remained in effect until noon for many areas, including the greater Tacoma, Everett, Port Angeles, Olympia, and the Cascade foothills for an additional 1-2 inches in passing snow showers.
The Seattle Metro area was left outside the advisory as the Olympics Mountains have been blocking much moisture from reaching the heart of the city. The main freeways were bare and wet across the Puget Sound area as were Seattle's side streets. However, some roads did ice up in the South Sound. The ramp from I-5 south to SR-7 near Tacoma was closed for a period Tuesday morning after multiple spin-outs, the State Patrol reported.
Temperatures early Tuesday morning were just above freezing for much of the region, briefly dropping to around the freezing mark during passing snow showers.
Hit-and-miss snow showers will continue during the morning and then snow levels will rise a bit to around 500 feet in the afternoon as temperatures climb into the upper 30s, allowing the snow to change to a mix or just light rain. Still, a very chilly mid-December day on tap.
More hit-and-miss snow showers will return Tuesday night as we cool off after sunset, but no additional accumulations are expected.
Back to the rain and wind
Our next chapter in this stormy trilogy this week comes Wednesday morning with another approaching front. This one will be more of the familiar rain and gusty winds as some warmer air ahead of the storm will keep snow levels above the lowlands, although there could be enough cool air trapped that it briefly begins as snow before a quick change to rain.
However, there is one exception -- the Hood Canal "snow belt" area including Brinnon, Hoodsport and Seabeck. Some easterly winds ahead of the storm will run up the eastern side of the Olympics, creating precipitation and since cold air likes to remain trapped at the surface, they could set some accumulating snow before a gradual change to rain.
For the rest of the region, it's rain with perhaps a brief mix at the very start of the precipitation.
As for wind, a High Wind Watch is in effect for Wednesday morning for the coast and Northwest Interior for southeasterly winds of 30-40 mph gusting to 60 mph. Winds will be gusty but less intense in the Seattle/Central Puget Sound area.
Up in the mountains, snow continues to be forecasted in feet instead of inches. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning for as much as 1-3 feet of new snow by Thursday.
Once this storm passes, we're looking at a cool showery pattern that will hold into the weekend.
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