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Freezing weather hits Seattle late for third straight year

(National Weather Service)

The calendar turning to December has immediately brought below-freezing temperatures to the Seattle area. But for the third consecutive year, it’s taken a long time to get there.

RELATED: Cold snap in Washington is ‘kind of the way it is’

The National Weather Service reported Monday that this marks the third straight year that Seattle’s seen its first taste of sub-freezing temperatures as late as December. Prior to 2016, that had only happened once inside of a decade and a half — in 2008, when there was snow on the ground for two weeks in December.

Freezing temperatures in Seattle are set to continue through Thursday, with three-day lows of 29, 28, and 27 degrees Fahrenheit respectively, before the low kicks all the way up to 34 on Friday. This marks the coldest temperatures in the city since February.

This part of the year is on average the coldest of any month — Western Washington typically sees its coldest day of the year between Dec. 16 and Dec. 20. That’s in stark contrast to the rest of the western region, that typically sees its coldest day in late-December or early-January.

The Seattle area is already seeing effects from the sudden cold snaps, as roads begin to ice and driving becomes more difficult.

Beyond that, the city of Seattle has opened severe weather homeless shelters Tuesday and Wednesday night, providing roughly 100 beds to anyone looking to stay out of the frigid nighttime temperatures. Thurston County also activated its own “hazardous weather response,” issuing a “code blue” advisory to increase shelter capacity in Olympia through Friday.

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