End of snow today but cold here to stay

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The air over us is cold enough for snow everywhere in Western Washington and it will be getting considerable colder over the next day. Later yesterday, the weak disturbance from the north began circulating snow showers into our region and with sufficiently cold air in place finally, light snow occurred during the evening and morning hours. The reports I have seen indicate general amounts of 1-2 inches, but with heavier falls north of the city and to the east..particularly in places with some elevation. The National Weather Service did a good job of forecasting these amounts yesterday afternoon (they went 1-3 inches). Of course, the mountain passes have secured 1.5 to 2 feet during this event.

So what is happening now (7 AM)? Some moisture is still rotating around the offshore low (see radar), but most of the snow showers...and particularly the heavy stuff, is on the eastern side of the Sound and Strait of Georgia.
The reason is that strong easterly flow has developed aloft over the western slopes of the Cascades. To see that look at the observations above Seattle (image) and the surface wind plot (image). Remember the way winds are plotted..the pennant points in the direction the wind is blowing and and a big line mean 10 knots and and small one is 5 knots. Two big lines is 20 knots, etc. The downslope easterly flow works against precip, but as it rises on the eastern side of the Olympics and Vancouver Island, it enhances the snow.
Strong winds from the NE are now blowing into Bellingham. This air is not only cold, but dry. Strong easterly winds are also blowing in the Gorge at locations such as Troutdale.
Anyway, today the offshore disturbance will move south and the showers we lessen. As the low moves south of us, the really cold air will be drawn southward and skies will clear. Having some snow on the ground will promote cooling, since snow is very good in radiating heat to space. So today will not get much above freezing, but tonight will be much colder...dropping down near 20F in most of the region...and into the teens in colder spots. The cold air will be in all week, with some minor modifications. We are still watching a weak system on Wednesday. Perhaps some snow showers. The question is a major system approaching over the weekend...things could get very interesting...but too soon to talk about that.
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