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Snow expected with cold temps in the Northwest

(National Weather Service

Western Washington weather is about to serve up some lowland snow.

The National Weather Service is reporting that lowland snow in Western Washington is likely as we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017 — Saturday evening into Sunday morning. According to the latest model from the weather service, snow will fall more heavily further north.

Bellingham could get up to 3 inches of snow on the ground. That number dwindles moving south to 0-1 inch around Olympia. In Seattle, there is potential for up to 2 inches of snow on the ground.

Cold Washington weather ahead

Washington weather is about to take a turn toward the cold — really cold.

Northwest residents should expect temperatures to dip far below normal for this time of year over the coming week. And that comes after potential snow in the lowlands that some predict.

Related: Check Washington weather forecasts

University of Washington Climatologist Cliff Mass recently pointed out that despite relatively normal temperatures during the latter part of December, the month has been generally colder than normal. December has been about 2-4 degrees colder than normal. Mass points out that has led to some “healthy snow pack” up in the Cascade Mountains.

KIRO 7 reports that the recent cold December hits after a year of above average temperatures in Seattle. On average, this is the coldest month around Seattle since 2008, and the fourth coldest month of the past 30 years.

Looking ahead, it seems that Washington weather will likely keep up the downward trend to the lower depths of the thermostat into next week.

The National Weather Service reports that in parts of Washington, starting Jan. 2, temperatures will dip down into the low 20s. On Jan. 3, the temperature will drop into the teens. The Weather Service expects temperatures to dive far below normal for this time of year.

Mass wrote on his blog that arctic air will be moving south, bringing the cold temperatures with it — affecting Washington weather. Not only will the cold air come into the area, little or no clouds will be present in the Seattle region.

Mass also writes: “Is there a chance of snow as the cold air moves in? The answer is yes … but the uncertainties are too large to speculate on that now.”

The cold temperatures have already caused problems in Western Washington. On Wednesday, numerous law enforcement agencies and fire departments reported weather-related crashes on the roads. Over in Mukilteo, where SR 526 between Airport Road and Seaway Boulevard was described as a “sheet of ice,” an officer was struck by a vehicle while responding to a crash.

Those slick conditions are expected to stick around with freezing levels dropping from 4,000 feet to around 2,000 feet by Friday morning.

Washington weather

The National Weather Service predicts that the Northwest will be much colder than normal at the start of January 2017. (National Weather Service)

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