About a month ago I read a weather blog story by KOMO weather producer, Scott Sistek. The story was about the winter of 1988/89 – also a strong La
Nina winter like this year. La Nina was whined about all through January 1989. People wanted to know where all the snow was that La Nina winters promise. That January 1989 temperatures were above normal – and not a lick of snow. Then Bam! Mid February came around and Mother Nature unleashed an Arctic Blast and a March 1st snow storm that saw 7 inches of the white stuff fall at SeaTac airport. You can read the story here: http://www.komonews.com/weather/blogs/scott/113555249.html
Flash forward 22 years and here we go again. A winter weather pattern similar to 1989. And yes, people around here have whined about what a dud La Nina turned out to be – just like they did in 1989. Our January and early February temperatures have been above normal. And now Bam! Our below normal mid February temperatures have set in. If you haven’t watched or read the news lately, weather has made it center stage again. We’ve had below normal temperatures for almost a week and now the weather guys say arctic air is on the way – as is the big “S” word, SNOW!
A Winter Storm Watch was issued today, February 21st, for parts of Western Washington – including our eastern Puget Sound lowlands – starting early Wednesday morning and lasting through Thursday morning. The storm watch means possible snow accumulations of 4-6 inches. Not a huge snow storm – but pretty decent nonetheless. There is also the possibility of 1 – 2 inches of wet snow beginning late tonight as freezing levels drop to 500 feet – and then lower to 300 feet tomorrow.
This blast of winter is courtesy of an arctic air mass dropping south out of British Columbia combining with a low pressure center off the Washington coast. As of this afternoon, all major weather computer models were in agreement for this winter weather scenario. After the snow diminishes on Thursday, the winter temperatures are expected to hang around until next week. Sunny and cold is the forecast for Friday and Saturday. Another chance of snow is possible for Sunday and Monday with freezing levels back to 1000 feet. A couple of weather computer models are also hinting at a second dose of arctic air early next week. But confidence is low as it is hard to predict weather around here more than a couple of days out.
Looks like winter is back and is ready to hang around for at least another week. Find your snow shovel and get the sleds ready Snoqualmie!