The forecast trends that started last night and continued this morning, indeed continue through this afternoon. Friday’s weather system is not looking as cold as had been the case earlier in the week, thus snow in the mountain passes will likely not be as heavy on Friday. Also it looks a little faster with weather winding down quickly Friday evening. Still, there could be some subtle changes and a few degrees difference Friday afternoon could bring snow amounts in the passes up, but the bottom line is Friday’s storm probably won’t be fearsome as it looked some days ago.
INTO FRIDAY AM: Through this evening and into Friday morning, no issues other than increasing clouds after dark. We’re already seeing high clouds moving in and this will thicken up overnight. By 6 a.m., we’ll start to see some rain showers nearer the Canadian border and the Strait but the Friday morning commute looks pretty dry across the area. Rain will move into the Puget Sound region mainly after 7 a .m. from north to south.
LOWLAND RAIN FRIDAY: It’ll be a rainy day in the lowlands with some breezy conditions by afternoon but gusts not worse than 15-20 mph most areas around the Sound. We could stand to pick up about a quarter-inch, on average, through the day in the rain gauge.
MOUNTAIN SNOW: In the mountains, precipitation type through the passes will likely be snow to start in the morning, with Stevens Pass picking up snowflakes starting around 8 a.m. and Snoqualmie Pass around 10 a.m. (times approximate). Warm air moving into the area aloft will probably cause a changeover from snow to rain or a rain/snow mix in the passes – particularly Snoqualmie Pass – in the late morning or early afternoon. If this expected changeover occurs, that will seriously limit any snow accumulation at Snoqualmie Pass and south, and to a lesser extent, Stevens Pass.
Here are the updated forecast snow totals for Friday:
North Cascades (Stevens Pass, Mount Baker): 5-9 inches
Snoqualmie Pass: 1-2 inches, slushy by afternoon or possibly washed away by late afternoon if it completely turns to rain there.
South Cascades (White Pass, Paradise) and Olympics: nothing to an inch or two
East of the Cascades: 1-4 inches of snow in locations like Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Ellensburg.
Precipitation will shut off later Friday evening as cold, dry air moves in from the north. It’ll be pretty breezy areawide (15-25mph gusts) with winds stronger in Whatcom County closer to Fraser River outflow.
The weekend will be dry and chilly with plenty of sunshine after some Saturday morning clouds. Highs will be in the 40s in the lowlands with lows in the 30s. Away from the Sound, temperatures will probably fall below freezing on Sunday and Monday mornings.
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