Updated Weather Alert from The Grand Poobah - Sturtevant's Blog
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Updated Weather Alert from The Grand Poobah

Larry SchickHello Snow Lovers,

It’s hard to imagine looking outside right now with the filtered sunshine, but a big snowstorm is quietly developing and headed our way. A step outside will prove we still have a chill in the air and that cold will set the stage for more snow to come in the lowlands and the mountains.


This is potentially a bigger snowstorm than earlier this week. Also, like the storm on Monday, there will be wind with the cold, especially north. There will be more snow than Monday too…and like Monday the snowfall totals will be similar in the lowlands (your back yard) and in the mountains. This is due to the low level moisture and storm orientation not necessarily favoring the mountains like we normally see.

Snowfall totals early Friday to mid- day on Saturday will be 4 -10” for both the mountains and the lowlands (Seattle 4-7″). The snow level will be sea level, so everybody will get snow. Scout out a local hill today, then make a powder turn at a nearby park by Friday night.  With the low snow levels, the quality and quantity of snowfall will be great in the mountains and the lowlands.

Be extra careful driving up on Friday and Saturday. The lowland roads may be pretty bad in places with ice/snow and other hazards. Once you get to the mountain, roads may get better as they deal with snow on the roads all winter long.

These lowland snowstorms are tricky, but this one looks textbook and a classic for Seattle. The cold air is in place, with a low developing offshore of the Columbia River mouth. That location and configuration will pull more cold air down to keep it cold enough for all snow. The lack of cold is typically the big forecast issue for lowland snowfall, but that is not the case for this storm – at least as far as we can see. Also, the low is in a good position to feed moisture in from the west-southwest to supply the needed moisture to mix with the cold and produce our lowland snow. It’s a delicate balance – if the position is too far from ideal placement, it may cut off moisture or allow mild air to move in.

However, the computer models have been fairly consistent in showing this set up – so confidence is modest to high. Still, there is often a nagging anxiety with a complicated snow forecast for the lowlands in Puget Sound.

Mother Nature always has the last card. I think the uncertainty is really about possible heavier snowfall bands, really letting loose with heavy snow in the lowlands or foothills. I really can’t see a bust with no snow, so lets go for it! Yowza – here comes the snow!

The fun begins Friday afternoon. Here is how it will go down for the mountains.

  • Larry Schick | Ski report for WashingtonExpect to ski in increasing snow for the Cascades by noon Friday, but little or no new when you arrive.
  • The snowfall will really pick up in the afternoon and all night. Expect decreasing snow by early Saturday afternoon.
  • There will be 1-3” during the afternoon on Friday, keeping it fresh. New Cascade (24hr) snowfall will be 4 -10” by Saturday with excellent high quality blower powder.
  • Off- piste, should be much improved, but you may feel some firmness underfoot in places.
  • Groomers will be really fine, smooth as silk.
  • Sunday will be cold but with partial clearing, a great ski day with quality leftovers and fabulous groomers.

Local lowland roads will still be snowy and icy in spots, but improving.

This snow pattern favors Stevens (3-7”) to The Summit (3-8”) and especially Crystal (4-9”) and White (4-10”). Also, there is an easterly flow component, which could produce snow of great depth and exceptional quality at Mission (7-14” plus). Even heavier snow will fall in Oregon, Bachelor and Hood 12” plus and super light. This pattern does not favor Baker (1-3”) and Whistler (1”).

There is more lowland and mountain snow possible Monday and Tuesday, but there is uncertainty at this time. I’ll have an update on Sunday.

Your Grand Poobah of Powder
Larry Schick – meteorologist