Season's first lowland snow dots Puget Sound region

Season's first lowland snow dots Puget Sound region
Photo of snow in Graham, courtesy of Alex Ballesteros.
They say close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

For snow fans, the weather tonight might count as "close enough" as well.

Temperatures dropped to the mid 30s Thursday evening and with still plenty of showers roaming around, we've got enough ingredients to make some rudimentary snow showers.

Oh sure, it's not going to win any culinary prizes or end up on Iron Chef or anything, but to starving snow fans who haven't seen snowflakes at home since last February, they'll take it.

Snow showers were reported in many areas Thursday evening, including Buckley, Puyallup, Orting, Enumclaw and Graham, courtesy of a cold trough of low pressure moving down from the Gulf of Alaska. The main center of the storm will remain well offshore, but a small piece has broken off from the storm and this "vorticity max" (no, you can't name your band that) will move through the area overnight, triggering more showers and perhaps a Convergence zone later toward morning.

But conditions are only on the edge for snow though -- temperatures in the mid 30s with dew points in the low 30s means it won't get to a hard freeze and it also means the snow will have trouble sticking around long and with our warm roads, shouldn't cause any big travel problems.

A heavier shower can temporarily cool the atmosphere a degree or two and when we're on the edge like this, it can make a difference between snow and mix or rain. So a passing light shower might be rain but if a heavier shower follows later, it could be snow.

But it sure is pretty to look at, even if you'll struggle to make a snowman. And some of these showers are heavy enough that you might get perhaps 1/2-1" of snow or so before the shower passes and the snow begins to melt. So don't expect a lot of snow overnight, but just in spots here and there. We will have to watch Skagit and Snohomish County though because any kind of convergence zone can bring 1-2" depending on the zone's location, intensity and duration.

As we get into Friday, we start running out of moisture, but any straggling showers could again be a wet snow or mix or just plain snow in higher elevations. In between the showers, the sun will be out so any snow will quickly melt and highs should climb to near 40.

But we start playing the snow game again Friday night into Saturday morning -- mainly south of the Puget Sound region though. Models indicate another batch of moisture moving into Southwestern Washington that could bring a light snow accumulation. Seattle should be north of any moisture but we'll see if any sneaks close. (Also the Olympic Foothills south of US 101/Port Angeles and Sequim could get some upslope snow. ) Lows will be near freezing, or even in the 20s in the North Sound where skies will be less cloudy.

Saturday is partly sunny -- maybe a lingering snow shower early to the south if the newer scenario plays out -- but chilly with highs only near 40. We're all dry by midday and once again, we're setting up a cold night that will likely trump Friday's temperatures for being the coldest of the year as everyone should be in the 20s -- maybe only 30 in Seattle.

Some long range forecast models do indicate some rain returning for Sunday. It's possible depending on when it gets there it could once again start as snow in spots, but no major problems expected. Beyond that, we shift focus to a very wet pattern for late Sunday into Monday and Tuesday with steady, moderate-to-heavy rains for several hours and highs in the upper 40s (so no more snow issues).

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