Who wants more? Rounds 3 & 4 of snow prompt new Winter Storm Watch for Seattle area
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SEATTLE -- Who's ready for more snow?
Ready or not, we're going to up the ante by not just dealing with one snow storm... no, that's old hat now. We're going to try wading through *two* storms in near back-to-back fashion, promising another round of heavy snows to add to the frozen wonderland already on the ground.
Two minutes before our Winter Storm Warning expired from Friday night's storm, a new Winter Storm Watch was issued across the region, including the Puget Sound region, for the one-two punch of expected widespread snowfall -- the first later Sunday; the second Monday night into Tuesday. It's likely by the time we get to mid week that several areas around the Puget Sound area will have a foot or more of snow on the ground from the combined effects of the three storms.
Up first, the big chill again. We get our ultra short break between storms. With a breezy north wind, clear skies, and gobs of frozen snow on the ground, temperatures will plunge into the teens across the region, maybe even single digits in the far outlying areas. Seattle "only" dropped to 20 last go 'round; The low Sunday morning dropped to 14 at Boeing Field. If roads managed to get cleared, they'll refreeze quickly and just assume ice everywhere Sunday morning.
Clouds will increase rapidly Sunday morning as our first storm system races through. This storm isn't as potent and has some speed behind it, so we're not thinking a major event here. Still, snow will develop from northwest to southeast as the afternoon and evening progresses as the storm drops in from Vancouver Island with arrival in the Puget Sound area pegged for roughly 5-6 p.m.
It's also not a particularly large storm, geographically speaking, and current track projections suggest those north of Everett will see little if any accumulation. The Puget Sound region may get a quick 1-2 inches, while some spots south of Tacoma into Southwestern Washington may see some spots up to 3" by the time we get to Monday morning. Of course, it'll be hard to notice when you've got 6-10 inches out there already; just enough to cover up that sidewalk and driveway you just spent all day today shoveling.
Just as that weather system leaves Monday morning you might have just a few hours to contemplate just how much you've been rooting for snow this winter when January was the 5th warmest on record when in comes Storm No. 4. This one is more developed and is dropping down from the Gulf of Alaska where A) it's cold and B) there's a whole lot more water to absorb into the system. Translation: Uh oh.
This storm will take a bit of a different track, dropping offshore first then curling inland into Southwestern Washington. So this time, the snow will hit southwestern Washington first, then move *north* into the Puget Sound region from there. Timing is right around or maybe just a touch before the evening commute in the Seattle area (remember: Olympia and Tacoma first this time). With the offshore track there is a chance that some milder air from the Pacific gets mixed in and some areas may briefly begin as rain or rain/snow mix like Friday night's storm. This is a low chance, but a non-zero chance so we could have a similar scenario where it looks like the storm is going to spare you, only to bring snow later as it cools down. Snow goes overnight Monday into Tuesday afternoon.
Snow totals are running about on par with the last storm -- let's go 4-8 inches again with some areas getting more and some getting less, but a dart throw at this point as who that is. For the record, the heavier totals were aimed in the Seattle area on the most recent model runs, but it might drift in subsequent model runs. Windy and cold again with highs around freezing.
The storm tapers off late Tuesday and we get another chance to catch our breath (which you can still see, by the way, so it's easier to grab) on Wednesday which looks reasonably sunny and cold.
What about Thursday and Friday you ask? Ummm.... Records are meant to be broken, right? At 10.6 inches (and counting), it's already the snowiest February at Sea-Tac Airport since 1949 and the record is easily in reach at 13.1 inches.
For all-time in Seattle, 36.4 inches is the record set in 1916 at the Downtown Federal Building -- we *think* that remains out of reach. But second place at 17.4 in 1923? There is indeed potential for more snow at the end of the week; I think that number is within reach.
Super long range forecasts over the next 8-14 days advertise continued cold weather.
It's making some of the new Seattleites wonder...