We had another taste of wintry weather this week, but it was quite short-lived. To illustrate this, the following two photos were taken just over 24 hours apart:
In the Bothell area, I didn’t officially measure, but it seemed as if we had a little over an inch of snow on some surfaces (thankfully not the roads). By afternoon, however, it was mostly melted off due to the daytime heating. It wasn’t much heating, but it was enough to melt accumulated snow.
Meteorological winter is quickly coming to a close (the last day is officially Feb. 28), but just like it came in with a bang (remember our early December snow?), it’s trying to end with one, too. This means another possible bout with wintry precipitation.
Before that, we will deal with very chilly temperatures on Friday — with highs only in the mid-30s. Brrr! But it should be mostly sunny, so if you want to bundle up, it may still be a nice day for a lunchtime stroll. We begin clouding up over the course of Friday night ahead of the first system that has the potential of giving us some snow. The first half of Saturday should remain mostly dry before precipitation becomes an issue in our area.
Because cold air will likely be in place, precipitation likely will fall as snow.Models are suggesting that we could see more snow than earlier in the week. Check out the European model ensemble members showing total snow below. Each of the gray lines are individual members, and the green line is the average of all those members (which tends to be more skillful than any individual member, on average).
There is a lot of uncertainty with totals, however, as you can see with the member spread. Because precipitation will stick around through Sunday, which includes a period of daytime heating, total accumulations could fluctuate. We could see a couple inches fall, some melt off during the day due to rain and above-freezing temperatures, then more fall when temperatures get closer to freezing again. Or we could see barely any melting, which would then result in higher accumulations.
Make sure to take any necessary precautions in case we see more impactful snow than just a dusting. For example, if you work a hybrid job like I do, it may be a good idea to bring home your work computers this weekend in case it’s more challenging to drive Monday morning.
As you can see in the ensemble graphic above, models are suggesting that we could see additional snowfall for the first half of next week. Because daytime temperatures will be above freezing, again, any accumulations are hard to pinpoint as we deal with the challenging combination of snow and rain with temperatures fluctuations.
Temperatures should warm enough that any precipitation Wednesday afternoon should fall as rain.
I’m sure I’ve emphasized this enough at this point, but with this uncertainty in the forecast — snow forecasts, especially in our area, are notoriously tricky — it’s best to be prepared for any outcome (please don’t raid the grocery stores, though). As the event gets closer and begins to unfold, pay attention to forecasts by the National Weather Service in Seattle for the most up-to-date and accurate information. They are quite involved on social media (Facebook and Twitter), but you can also check out their website here.
Stay warm out there. Have a great weekend — and stay safe!
— By Kelsie Nelson
Kelsie Nelson is a meteorologist and recent University of Washington graduate who grew up in Lynnwood and now lives in Kenmore. After writing weather blogs as a KOMO News intern, she discovered a passion for writing about weather. You can learn more in her blog www.wxnoggin.com and you can also follow her on Twitter at @kels_wx3. Questions can be directed to Kelsie at email@example.com.
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