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First freeze
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Olympia gets coldest September day in almost two decades

The year's first freeze has officially arrived in the South Sound. (Pexels)

After a weekend of snow in Western Washington’s mountain passes, 2019’s first freeze has made its way into the lowlands of the Puget Sound region.

Seattle could be primed for ‘very active winter’

Overnight between Sunday and Monday in Olympia, temperatures got as low as 29 degrees. That marked not only the appearance of the first frost of the season, but also the coldest low temperature in September the city has seen in 19 years.

Additionally, that was only the sixth time in almost 80 years that Olympia had a low under 30 degrees in the month of September.

On average, Olympia’s first freeze typically rolls in on Oct. 9, meaning this year’s rolled in over a week early.

The National Weather Service had issued an overnight frost warning for the entire South Sound area Monday, that ran from 12 a.m. to 7 a.m.

“It’s an unseasonably chilly atmosphere,” said NWS meteorologist Jacob DeFlitch. “Temperatures look to stay cooler than average as we head into the next few weeks.”

‘Arctic express’ arrives in Western Washington

In Seattle, Monday overnight temperatures hovered in the low 40s. And while it avoided freezing weather, lows around 40 degrees were something the city didn’t see until late October in any of the last three years.

“Examining the temperatures during the past 12 weeks at Seattle (compared to the normal highs and lows), Seattle for the first time in that period had its low temperatures drop to well below normal,” said University of Washington climate scientist Cliff Mass in a recent blog post.

All this could very well be what the precursor to what Mass predicts will be a “very active winter” for Western Washington, spurred by an unusually early “Arctic express.”

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