Dangerous cold, some snow sweep across Western WA

Jan 12, 2024, 6:26 AM | Updated: 7:04 am

Frigid temperatures and some snow greets Seattle on Friday. (KIRO 7)...

Frigid temperatures and some snow greets Seattle on Friday. (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

It’s more like Chicago or Boston weather. Seattle is known for its wet winters, overcast skies, and relatively mild temperatures.

That won’t be the case for the next few days in the Puget Sound region.

Friday morning temperatures range from 6° in Bellingham to 28° at Hoquiam. Wind gusts are in the 20-50 mph range areawide, but are the strongest in Whatcom County.

According to KIRO 7 meteorologist Nick Allard, wind Chill readings are around -15° to -17° around Bellingham to about 6° to 13° degrees across the Puget Sound area.

From meteorologist Ted Buehner: Sunny skies, frigid temperatures forecast for the weekend

“We also have some flurries and light snow showers in the South Sound,” Allard wrote on the KIRO 7 website. “The air is very dry now and a lot of the snow showers are evaporating before making it to the ground, but you can expect some more light snow showers around Olympia south for the next couple of hours. The snow will end this morning and we’ll have increasing sunshine later today.”

The strongest wind will be in Whatcom County. Most of the area will have wind around 10-20 mph with occasionally higher gusts.

It doesn’t take long for extreme cold like this to be a problem.

According to

As with high temperatures, don’t rely solely on the thermometer reading of environmental air for gauging cold temperatures. The speed of the wind and external body moisture can cause a chill that dramatically changes your body’s rate of cooling and how you feel. In extremely cold weather, especially with a high wind chill factor, you can quickly experience the onset of hypothermia. Falling into cold water can also result in immersion hypothermia.

Some cold-related illnesses include:

  • hypothermia
  • frostbite
  • trench foot (or “immersion foot”)
  • chilblains
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • cold-induced hives

When your body first drops below 98.6˚F (37˚C), you may experience:

  • shivering
  • an increased heart rate
  • a slight decrease in coordination
  • an increased urge to urinate

When your body temperature is between 91.4˚ and 85.2˚F (33˚ and 30˚C), you’ll:

  • decrease or stop shivering
  • fall into a stupor
  • feel drowsy
  • be unable to walk
  • experience quick alternations between rapid heart rate and breathing too slowly
  • shallow breathing

Between 85.2˚ and 71.6˚F (30˚C and 22˚C), you’ll experience:

  • minimal breathing
  • poor to no reflexes
  • inability to move or respond to stimuli
  • low blood pressure
  • possibly coma

According to Allard, “This is the coldest stretch we’ve had in western Washington in years! The record low for Seattle today is 13°, the record low for tomorrow is 11°.”

Saturday morning wind chill will not be as bad in Whatcom County (still 5 to negative 5) but around the rest of Puget Sound, including the cities, wind chills will be in the single digits with morning air temperatures in the teens. Seattle’s forecast morning low of 15 Saturday morning would be the coldest since 2010.

Contributing: KIRO 7 meteorologist Nick Allard, KIRO 7 staff

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