Winter Storm Forecasted for Washington State

Bryan Dijkhuizen

This evening and into tonight, a storm is moving towards the northwest, with rain offshore extending inland and increasing snowfall in the highlands.

Rain will continue to fall in the lowlands on Saturday morning, with most of it falling in northern locations.

The front will go through late Saturday afternoon and into the evening, bringing the heaviest rains with him.

In most areas, the winds will pick up speed this evening and peak early Saturday morning, with gusts of up to 60 miles per hour for the Admiralty Inlet and the San Juan Islands, and gusts of up to 50 miles per hour for the coast, Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Western Whatcom and Skagit Counties.

On Saturday, gusts of 25-40 miles per hour are expected in Puget Sound. The amount of snow falling in the mountains will increase overnight, with snow levels expected to rise through Saturday.

There is a risk for freezing rain at Snoqualmie Pass, with the biggest probability occurring Saturday morning as temperatures rise into the low to mid-30s.

Afternoon temperatures will rise into the low to mid-30s, and a changeover to rain is predicted.

The biggest mountain snowfall for the Passes will occur late Saturday afternoon and into Saturday night, according to forecasts. A Winter Storm Advisory is in force for the Cascades, while a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Olympic Mountains. Snoqualmie Pass is expected to get 8 to 12 inches of snow, with Stevens Pass receiving 18 to 24 inches.

With the system in place, temperatures will be a little warmer on Saturday, with high temperatures ranging from the upper 40s to the low 50s.

It is expected that the front will move south of the region late Saturday night into Sunday morning, with some lingering rain showers likely in the Lowlands into Sunday morning.

The front moving over southern Washington and into northern Oregon will provide mostly dry weather for Sunday afternoon, while a little risk of showers is likely with the trough. In addition, on Sunday, winds will rise in strength from the north.

There will be an increase in Fraser Outflow winds over Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands, resulting in perhaps higher gusts. Cold air will begin to flow into Western Washington late Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, the forecast becomes a little more intriguing as a front lying to the south moves northward through the region, bringing rain and snow during the daytime hours of the day.

However, although there is some ambiguity about the precise amount of cold air present on Monday, there is the possibility of at least a rain/snow mix throughout parts of King County and northern Washington during the day.

As the front weakens and drier air filters into Whatcom County, it is possible that precipitation may decrease as it moves northward.

Despite the possibility of rain/snow mixing in the area, little to no snow accumulation is expected in the region. With high temperatures in the low to mid-40s on Sunday and Monday, temperatures will be much colder.

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