Weather Eye: Snow may fly as temperatures fall, but not pile up




Another round of winter weather will hit Washington and Oregon as a strong cold front moves inland late tonight. After a mild start, Wednesday will see falling temperatures and lowering snow levels.

So today will be rainy and mild and then it returns to more wintry conditions the rest of the week. Will we get any snow at city levels? That is the big question. We may have cold enough air aloft but not enough moisture for much accumulation. But as always, these things are usually a last-minute event like the one on New Year’s Eve.

It is safe to say that we most likely will see snow in the air and the heavier showers could leave light accumulations even at sea level. Enough to chain up or put those studs on? At this point, I doubt it, unless you are heading up to the mountains. While we dry out a bit Thursday and Friday more moisture will come from B.C. but stay off the coast as it heads toward California; Southern Oregon may be in the bulls-eye for snow.

The mountains will get snow for sure, and even the foothills down to 1,000 feet. Avalanche levels went up on Monday as rain fell on the snow causing unstable conditions.

I mentioned in Sunday’s column that we might reach 50 degrees on Monday — we surpassed that with a 53 degree high temperature. Almost springlike, wasn’t it? We haven’t been so warm since Dec. 10.

Areas east of the Cascades will warm up into the 40s and 50s as well, as the last of the cold air is scoured out. Heavy rains will fall in Western Washington today, and with the lowland snow, rivers will be running high and muddy.

I have all the December rainfall reports from around the area to share with you in a few days. Stay warm and dry!

Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at Weather Systems.