Puget Sound region makes history over record-setting weekend of snow
Valentine’s Day weekend in 2021 saw the Puget Sound region blanketed in snow, marking the winter’s first major weather event. The days-long snowstorm also ranks among some of the most significant periods of snowfall Western Washington has ever seen.
On Saturday, 8.9 inches of snow fell in the Seattle area, the most the city had seen on a February day in nearly a century, and the snowiest Seattle day in any month in 52 years. Combined between Friday and Saturday, that was also the most snow the Seattle area had seen over a two-day period in 49 years.
But how did it compare to record-breaking snow that hit the Puget Sound region in 2019? While it didn’t exceed the total snowfall of 2019’s weeks-long event, Saturday’s 8.9 inches was more than any single day of accumulation Seattle had two years ago. In the larger context of February snow, the Seattle area now stands at 12.4 total inches for the month in 2021, the fifth most in February on record (2019 ranked as the second snowiest for that month).
The weekend’s inclement weather also caused plenty of problems for drivers. According to Washington State Trooper Rick Johnson, State Patrol responded to 386 collisions between Friday and Monday in King County alone, a 300% increase from two weekends ago over that same period of time.
Snohomish County saw similar issues arise, with troopers responding to 196 calls between Friday and Sunday.
As for whether we can expect an encore performance in the weeks ahead, University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences Cliff Mass believes we may have seen the last of major snow outside of the Cascades this winter.
“Enjoy the snow … it is beautiful, and will probably be the last lowland snow event this season,” he predicts.