Winter not over yet despite warmer than usual January

Jan 23, 2023, 1:20 PM
You may experience wet snow similar to what occurred Saturday later this week, according to Ted Buehner.(Photo from Frank Summrall)
(Photo from Frank Summrall)

After two periods of cold weather, snow, and even a rare ice storm to start winter, January has been relatively mild and dry. So does this mean that summer is fast approaching?

January has been in sharp contrast to December, as it was 3 degrees cooler than average last month with a little more than 7.5 inches of rainfall – close to two inches above normal levels, according to Sea-Tac Airport reports.

More king tides coming to Puget Sound, but flooding unlikely

So far this month, temperatures in the Puget Sound region have been averaging about 2 degrees warmer than average, and just under three inches of rain has fallen, approximately an inch-and-a-third below average.

But as the calendar reminds us, winter is not over yet. Weather charts for the rest of this month and heading into early February show a change to a much cooler weather pattern.

High pressure aloft over the region has helped suppress the current set of king tides, causing little, if any, coastal flooding issues, and is expected to retreat westward by late this week. Unfortunately, that change will permit a weather system to swing southward from western Canada through Washington by this weekend, renewing chilly Fraser Canyon outflow winds and sending snow levels plunging close to the Western Washington lowlands.

Washington weather ‘stretched limits,’ ‘extremes’ in 2022

This system may result in areas of wet snow similar to what occurred Saturday and will add to the state’s mountain snowpack.

If longer-range forecast charts are correct, a more significant chance of lowland snow may unfold in early February, just in time for Groundhog Day. This winter weather pattern bears watching and reflects that winter is not over yet.

Follow Ted Buehner, the KIRO FM news meteorologist on Twitter 

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Winter not over yet despite warmer than usual January