The jury is still out when it comes to lowland snow this weekend in Western WA

Jan 9, 2024, 6:55 AM | Updated: Jan 10, 2024, 9:50 am

Image: A Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) tow plow is seen in action on a snow...

A Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) tow plow is seen in action on a snowy road. (Image courtesy of WSDOT)

(Image courtesy of WSDOT)

Snow is always a big deal when we are talking about the lowlands of Western Washington. But, what we do know is that it’s going to be sunny and cold this weekend.

Showers will continue at times through Wednesday morning across the region. A rain and snow mix may occur as well during this period, particularly for areas of Lewis County and near the Cascade and Olympic Foothills.

Predictions for snow range from a trace to 8-10 inches, but we’ll have a much better idea on Thursday.

According to Nick Allard, KIRO 7 meteorologist, “This air is going to be very dry and the overall atmosphere will not be rich with moisture during this transition, so we shouldn’t expect significant lowland snow potential on Thursday.”

He said some snow and wet snow showers are still possible early Thursday, however, the best bet for more consistent snow would be in a possible convergence zone over the North Sound and North Interior.

There could be some showers outside of that convergence as well, but there shouldn’t be much overall, even if some minor accumulation is possible.

Cliff Mass: 8-10 inches of snow ‘possible’ this week after bomb cyclone

Meteorologists disagree on what will happen on Friday. There’s a chance that major lowland snow will develop on Friday afternoon, according to Allard. An area of low pressure moves ashore Friday night into Saturday morning, with the potential to bring a mix of snow, sleet, or even freezing rain.

Several forecast models have that going farther south over Oregon, would limit impacts of snow to mainly the southern third of our area. A farther north track (as predicted by the U.S.-based GFS forecast model) has Western Washington being impacted by a major winter storm with some ice storm implications too.

Thurston County was getting a rain-snow mix on Wednesday morning and it’s accumulating.

Showers are going to decrease throughout the day on Wednesday.

“The bomb cyclone has pretty much passed through, so that’s almost history now,” University of Washington (UW) atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass told Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH. “And when we talk about immediate logical bomb, we’re talking about a low-pressure system that revs up very quickly. There’s a fancy name in the literature called explosive cyclogenesis. Cyclogenesis means low development, so when it happens very quickly in this certain criteria, we call it a bomb. That’s all it is.”

Contributing: Nick Allard, KIRO 7 meteorologist

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