Increasing Threat of Snow

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The new forecast models are increasingly threatening for colder temperatures and lowland snow from Sunday through Wednesday of next week, although none of the forecast are ideal for a truly major event.  THUS THIS EVENT SHOULD NOT BE OVERHYPED!  At this point we are talking about good snowfalls in the mountains and snow showers over the lowlands.

But you might consider getting prepared:  make sure you have chains and windshield decider for your car, be ready to protect sensitive plants-- you know what I mean.  The TV stations should get all their colorful parkas cleaned and ready (no KING-5 Jim Forman jokes...yet!).  And local DOT folk should stock and make sure their staff are well rested.

  On the left is the average of the ECMWF (European Center for Medium Range Forecasting) ensemble forecasts for upper levels (500hPa).   The average or mean of an ensemble or collection of forecasts tends to be more accurate than individual forecast model runs.  ECMWF has the world's best global ensemble. The right is their single "deterministic" forecast.   Both show an upper trough offshore--a pattern very close to the typical western Washington snow configuration.   The U.S. model, which initially was much less threatening, has now come much closer to the ECMWF solution.  Snow forecasts are always uncertain because it is difficult to be cold and wet west of the Cascades at low levels.  The move to colder temperatures is MUCH more certain.

  Our high-resolution regional models, forced by the NWS GFS model, indicates some snow (light) on Sunday, and a more serious threat Tuesday, but there is lots of uncertainty, of course, at this range. Below is the 24-h snow prediction ending Monday at 4 PM.  Lowland snow in the forecast, especially over southwest Washington.   There is a significant possibility of a convergence zone snow even (Seattle to Everett) late on Sunday into Monday.  Will watch out for this!

The mountains are going to get doubt about that...which is very good news for skiers.  Wax your skis!

KBTC-TV aired a nice segment on the new coastal radar, click here or below the picture to view it.

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