SEATTLE -- Another chilly weather system is making its way through Western Washington Tuesday, but unlike many of the winter storms earlier this month, this one doesn't pose quite the lowland snow threats.
It should be just a cold rain with maybe some wet snowflakes mixed in from time to time, but there are some spots that could see a slushy accumulation Tuesday -- mainly north and east of Seattle above a few hundred feed.
The greatest chance for snow to sea level is in Whatcom County Tuesday, where a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from noon-6 p.m. as the band of moisture moves in before warmer air can push snow levels higher. As much as 2-4 inches of new snow is possible Tuesday afternoon and evening there, mainly away from the water and back toward the Canadian border like Sumas, Ferndale and Lynden.
Elsewhere, the higher hills of Snohomish County like south Everett, Lynnwood/Alderwood, Mukilteo, Bothell and Mill Creek that run around 400-500 feet could see a sloppy inch of snow at times today and into the evening with a potential Puget Sound Convergence Zone in play. Road temperatures are milder now but he grassy areas could see a renewed white dusting if the earlier snow is gone. No real travel impacts expected although even a non-sticking snow can lower visibilities at times. The higher Cascade foothills could also see 1-2 inches of snow with snow levels around 700-1,000 feet.
But in the Seattle/Tacoma Metro areas, enough ocean air is expected to mix in to keep lowland snow out of the equation for most with temperatures nearing the low 40s Tuesday afternoon and staying above freezing Tuesday night. Oh, you might see some sloppy flakes or even a brief wet snow mix in from time to time depending on the intensity of the rain but nothing concerning. To quote the great Obi-Wan Ken-Low-Bee: This is not the snowstorm you're looking for.
That snowstorm is in the mountains, where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect from noon Tuesday through 6 a.m. Wednesday for the Central and Southern Cascades for as much as 8-18 inches of new snow. (Lesser amounts of 6-9 inches are expected in the North Cascades and a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect there.)
We may see a lingering shower or two that might mix with some splotchy snow again Wednesday morning, in addition to a stubborn Convergence Zone keeping light rain/snow mix showers going in Snohomish County into the morning, but all areas dry out and begin to clear up by late morning. That leads to a dry and sunny Thursday.
Our next winter headache comes on Friday into the weekend with another chilly system inbound. This one might be a touch cooler than the Tuesday storm but at this time it is still not looking like a widespread snow event. Just maybe a few more locales might get in on some snow showers. Stay tuned there -- forecast charts still not really in agreement yet.