Meteorologists watching for signs of a white Christmas across Puget Sound region

Dec 14, 2021, 5:45 PM | Updated: Dec 15, 2021, 11:59 am
(MyNorthwest file photo)
(MyNorthwest file photo)

Wet snow fell throughout Western Washington early this week, as forecasters look to determine whether we’ll see more by the time we get to Christmas.

“The air aloft is very cold,” meteorologist Michael Snyder said. “So we’re tapping into a little bit of that, and it’s bringing the snowflakes down low, but the surface is a little bit too warm.”

Snyder is a full-time meteorologist for a major airline, and he runs the “Pacific Northwest Weather Chasers” YouTube Channel. While he doesn’t expect any accumulation in the Seattle area this week, he says an inch or two is possible around Hood Canal.

He’s closely watching forecast models for late next week as well. The forecast models produce different sets of projections known as “runs.” So far, he says, there’s not much agreement about a white Christmas in Seattle.

“Some of the runs had a nice wet, juicy system off the coastline, it actually brings a little bit of wind and southwest air back over us. And it keeps us in the upper 40s,” Snyder said.

That would mean no snowfall for the Seattle area.

“Then you look at some of the other runs, and you see temperatures down in the teens and you see six inches of snowfall,” Snyder said. “Some of these models run up to 50 different solutions. So you see all kinds of random outcomes.”

Snyder said there are better-than-average chances of measurable snowfall on Christmas day, but by no means is it a certainty.

“Normally, we’re about five, six percent [chances for snow] here in Seattle for about an inch or more on the ground for Christmas. I estimate a one-in-six or one-in-four chance this time: 16–25% is kind of my feeling with this. So definitely above average and much better than normal chance for Seattle or Western Washington.”

Listen to Snyder’s conversation about the forecast with KIRO Newsradio’s Charlie Harger here:

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Meteorologists watching for signs of a white Christmas across Puget Sound region