Wet and windy before lowland snow chance

by: KIRO 7 Lead Meteorologist Sam Argier Updated:

SEATTLE —

Remember the sunny start to 2013 last week?  That was when the storm track was up to our north over British Columbia, leaving us with sunny skies and crisp temperatures across Western Washington.  The weather pattern has taken a major turn this week.  The jet stream is aimed directly at us, guiding a wet and windy storm into our area on Tuesday. 

You can see the line of clouds extending well offshore in the satellite image above.  This system is expected to bring 0.5” to 1.5” of rainfall across Puget Sound through Wednesday morning.   Some of the heaviest downpours are expected Tuesday evening. 

The center of low pressure will be tracking by just up to our north over Vancouver Island.  As this low makes its pass, it will bring gusty southerly winds across the area.  Sustained winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph pick up during the afternoon and evening.  The strongest winds are not expected to coincide with high tide, so that is good news when it comes to coastal flooding.  These winds could still bring local power outages through Tuesday night. 

Cold Air Invades Wednesday

Once Tuesday’s storm moves east, much colder air is working in behind it.  Rain showers will be around during the day, but as we head into the evening the snow level will be dropping down around 500 to 1,000 feet.  Heavy showers focused around a Puget Sound Convergence Zone north of Seattle could have snow mixed in. 

We’re not expecting a widespread snowstorm, but neighborhoods around the convergence zone that are under the heavy showers could see some accumulation.  This cold air mass will stay over us through Saturday.  Moisture will be limited Thursday through Saturday, but any showers that do pop up will likely be in the form of a rain/snow mix or just snow.  At this point the best chance looks to be focused north of Seattle.  We’ll be fine tuning those details throughout the week here on KIRO 7. 

Have a great day!   

-Sam Argier, KIRO 7 Meteorologist