Summer is 63 days away. Really?

Summer is 63 days away. Really?
11:50 p.m. Update: snow totals as of 11 p.m.:

Clearview: 10.2"
Woodinville: 6.5"
Mill Creek: 6.2"
Edmonds: 3.5"
Shoreline: 3.5"
Mukilteo: 2"

Older snow totals from 9:30 p.m.:

Snohomish: 3"
Gold Bar: 2.5"
South Everett: 2.4"
Monroe: 1.5"

Previous story from 9:30 p.m.:


SEATTLE -- Summer is only 62 1/2 days away.

That's about the only solace we have to sun fans who are looking at potentially the latest snowfall ever recorded, at least in the Seattle area. Meanwhile, snow and rain fans are all smiles as winter extends well into its fourth month.

A trough of low pressure that has tapped into some very cold air in Alaska is slowly moving southeast into our area, allowing temperatures to hover near or below record low levels.

Snow has fallen in many areas Friday -- most in hit-and-miss spurts that come and go, but a Convergence Zone has made Snohomish County the snow winner today.

Snow has been falling in that area off and on there for most of the day, and then picked up again Friday evening as the Zone reenergized. Snow accumulations have ranged from about 1-3" as of 9 p.m. in the greater Everett/South Snohomish County area, but totals approached 5-6" in Clearview.

A HEAVY SNOW WARNING remains in effect for Snohomish County until 5 a.m. for as much as 2-3" by Saturday morning total generally there, but as much 5-7" in the eastern Snohomish foothills.

As of 9:30 p.m., here are some reported snow totals:

Clearview: 5"
Snohomish: 3"
Mill Creek: 2.8"
Gold Bar: 2.5"
South Everett: 2.4"
Monroe: 1.5"
Mukilteo: 1.5"

Elsewhere, we've had reports of snow in Ferndale, Yelm, Snohomish and Port Angeles, but so far there have not been any real accumulations besides a brief dusting.

That's because generally, snow levels are still running around 700-1,000 feet. But heavier showers can temporarily drop the snow levels lower -- even to sea level if the shower is strong enough.

That's due to a process called evaporative cooling, which in a nutshell, is the process where the air cools as the precipitation falls into the air and gets evaporated. That evaporation requires energy and in turn, cools the air.

For example, Everett was at 40 degrees at 11 a.m., but then a heavy shower moved. It began as rain, but as that evaporative cooling process churned away, the temperature dropped 6 degrees to 34 by just after noon and changed over to snow. Port Angeles also dropped from 38 to 32 when a rain-to-snow shower pass through.

So that will be the case through the through Saturday -- scattered rain showers possibly turning to snow if the intensity is heavy enough, then likely bouncing right back up into the upper 30s to mid 40s once the shower passes. Some of these showers could also have hail or lightning too, so be aware.

In the short term, outside the zone area that we mentioned earlier, the hit-and-miss showers will continue overnight Friday, and with cooling nighttime temperatures, we'll likely see more of these showers as snow. We are still not expecting any great accumulations outside the zone since these are just passing showers, but you could see a brief inch or so -- mainly on grassy surfaces -- before it begins to melt once the temperature bounces back after the shower leaves.

Nighttime temperatures will bottom out in the low 30s -- perhaps upper 20s in the outlying areas, so icy roads could be a problem in the rural areas Saturday morning.

Saturday will be a day much like today with passing showers amid partly to mostly cloudy skies, only with temperatures about 3 degrees cooler still, so odds of daytime snow showers versus rain showers are greater, but still no significant accumulations expected beyond a brief dusting to inch.

We start to run out of moisture Saturday night -- still some isolated snow showers out there, but plenty of dry time in between with skies clearing somewhat.

It's that time when we turn our attention from the random snow to freezing temperatures. Lows Saturday night will again drop into the mid 20s to near 30. So vulnerable plants are... well... vulnerable (not to mention confused).

Sunday will begin moderating during the day with highs climbing up near 50 amid partly sunny skies, but still very chilly Sunday night, although perhaps a few degrees warmer with lows ranging from 30-36.

The rest of next week we will keep climbing up a bit up the temperature ladder under partly sunny skies.

What Records Are In Jeopardy?

Quite a few records could be broken this weekend, but most of them are fairly obscure.

First up, the records for coldest high temperatures.

For Seattle on Friday it is 45 degrees, set in 1967. For Saturday, it's 47 degrees set in 1975, and for Sunday, it's 49 set in 1970. Friday's record is likely safe, Saturday's is very vulnerable, and Sunday's will be close.

How about record low temperatures? Saturday night's is 33 and Sunday night's is 30, both set in 1961. Saturday has a chance, Sunday's will be a stretch.

Also, if we get measurable snow at Sea-Tac Airport this weekend, it will be the latest recorded snow in the airport's history. They had 1.2" on April 17, 1972, which was preceded by 1.1" of snow on the 16th. It had snowed in Olympia on the 12th that year, so a prolonged stretch of temperatures cold enough to snow in mid-April isn't completely unique, but pretty close.

For overall monthly records:

As of Thursday, the average high temperature in April was 54.60 degrees, but that was monkey-wrenched by last Saturday's mini-heat wave. Toss out that 79 and we would be just over 53.

The overall record for coldest April ever was 52.6 degrees set in 1970. We would have to average 50.6 degrees or lower the rest of the month to break that record.

Another neat statistic: By the end of April, Seattle averages 12.6 days at 61 degrees or warmer since the start of the year. So far this year? Just the two set last Friday and Saturday.

Why So Cold? Blame Little Girls

One of the chief reasons it's been so cold has been a persistent jet stream that has carried some arctic air from Siberia into the Alaska region, then aimed it southeast into the Pacific Northwest.

Some of that persistence could likely be blamed on La Nina (Spanish for "Little Girl, for all you French majors), which is the opposite of the famed El Nino (Spanish for "Little Boy" and Californian for "Please make the rains stop").

La Nina is a periodic cooling of the tropical Pacific sea surface, which reduces rainfall in that region and can affect weather around the world. La Nina winters typically mean a big mountain snowpack (check), above average rainfall in the lowlands (most areas are running at or slightly above average) and cooler than normal temperatures on the surface (big check).

La Nina is expected to remain in power until July, but for the Northwest, this phenomenon typically loses influence as we get into late spring and summer, meaning that even if La Nina hangs around that long, it doesn't necessarily mean a cool and wet summer on tap. In fact, 90-day outlooks for the Pacific Northwest show an average late spring and early summer, and then perhaps a warmer and drier than average middle to late summer.