Updated: Saturday, 5:05 p.m.
After an unusually long, dry stretch of December weather (we only have 1.17" of rain in the gauge at Sea-Tac Airport, short of the usual 2.70" for this point in the month), the regular rainy-season-routine really gets going again here shortly. Saturday was dry and quiet, but the increasing clouds were a sign of the disturbance waiting offshore. Rain is already beginning to fall at the beaches, and as the warm front crawls in again overnight, we'll see increasing rain around Seattle, Everett and Tacoma, too. If you have holiday party plans, keep in mind that the pavement will be wet and a little extra slippery late tonight as the precipitation kicks in.
Overnight lows will straddle the 40-degree mark, and highs on Sunday will stay in the middle to upper 40s along the I-5 corridor. The lowland rain means a return of the mountain snow, which is great news for the ski resorts. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in place over the north and central Cascades Sunday and Monday, as peaks from Mt. Baker to Stevens Pass will pick up a fresh 3 to 12" of winter white. At the same time, the mountain roadways will get tricky, especially the higher routes like Stevens and White Passes. If you have a post-finals WSU student coming back over to this side of the Cascades, remind them that the lower Snoqualmie Pass, with a warmer mix of rain and snow, will probably be the easier way home for winter break.
In the lowlands, Sunday will be soggy and breezy. We'll see some gusts of 30 to 40 mph near the waterfront in the north end, including on western Whidbey Island or shore-side Whatcom county. Highs will max out in the 40s. All in all, typical December-in-Seattle weather for the weekend's second half (and all the better for home-field advantage-weather at Century Link Field for the Seahawks game).
Monday and Tuesday will be rainy-at-times, with highs back in the middle to upper 40s from Shelton to Sammamish. The mountains will continue to pick up snow, which will be great for building the base at the resorts as we approach the Christmas holidays. By Wednesday, we squeeze out the last of the showers, heading into drier weather by that night. If you're trying to get in a visit to magical Snowflake Lane in Bellevue, the subsiding rainy weather will make the nightly 'snowfall' and the parade there all the more enjoyable.
The rain-free skies stick around from Thursday all the way through most of the weekend, so a nice window opens up again for outdoor activities. Fog will become an issue again in the mornings, but other than that, the quieter weather will make for easier travel as we head into Christmas weekend.
Have a super Saturday night,
Meteorologist Shannon O'Donnell
The KOMO4 Forecast Team
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