Winter continues to stave off extinction

Winter continues to stave off extinction
SEATTLE -- We thought it was pretty amazing when it snowed on April 18th. We were astonished when it snowed on April 19th.

And now (searching thesaurus) we are completely astounded that it snowed on April 20th.

Sunday morning brought another round of snow showers to a few areas scattered across Western Washington, with some spots seeing a fair amount of accumulation.

It appears the snow winners this morning were the far Eastside and the North Sound. We had reports of about 1-4" of snow in Woodinville, Sedro-Woolley and the general Mount Vernon to Burlignton area, as well as the northern Olympic Peninsula between Port Angeles and Port Townsend. We also had reports of snow in Kirkland, Totem Lake and even a little accumulation in Factoria and the Sammamish Plateau.

But in actually, the snow is pretty isolated this morning and that will be the case again today, with more of the hit-and-miss variety. The snow that is out there will gradually taper off and satellite images show we should expect more in the way of sunbreaks today, so snow should begin to melt pretty quickly once the snow stops. In fact, we should warm into the upper 40s by afternoon.

On the other hand, the sunshine will help to destabilize the atmosphere as the sun's heat will add some energy to the equation (the sunshine will warm the ground, which will cause heat to rise, where with our very cold air in the upper levels, it will have no trouble turning into big, tall cumulus clouds that will eventually graduate to showers and thunderstorms. Normally you wouldn't think 45-48 degrees as heat in April, but it's so much colder aloft, upper 40s is pretty warm, relatively speaking.)

So the forecast for the rest of the day is a mix of showers and sunbreaks, but those showers could be pretty heavy and contain a varying mix of snow, lighting and hail...although as we get into the afternoon, it'll become more difficult to snow in the lower elevations as it'll take a much heavier shower to drive the snow levels to the surface.

Sunday night will be chilly and partly cloudy again with perhaps an isolated snow or mix shower once again. Lows will drop to the low 30s, but perhaps upper 20s in the outlying areas. That could make for some icy spots for Monday morning's commute. It looks like the greater Seattle metro area commute should be OK, but spots away from Seattle could be icy, so get up early and take a peek at conditions. You also might be the lucky winner of an isolated snow shower overnight just like Sedro-Woolley and Woodinville woke up to this morning.

This area of low pressure that's been lolly-gagging overhead is now expected to stay a day longer, leaving us with almost a carbon-copy forecast of Sunday for Monday -- generally partly sunny, but a mix of showers and sunbreaks and possibly thunderstorms or brief snow. The exceptions are the showers should be fewer in number as the low weakens, and we should be a touch warmer into the low 50s, so snow will be quite difficult and we aren't expecting any accumulations.

But having the low wander around longer here has monkey-wrenched the rest of the week's forecast, which had looked dry. Tuesday morning through midday still looks dry, but now our weekend low is drawing a second low that had been expected to go way to our south farther north, and it appears now rain will develop from the south on Tuesday afternoon and evening. This one's all rain though as that air from the south will end up much milder.

That keeps rain in the forecast at times for Wednesday now but highs well into the 50s. We are still looking like we might eke out a dry day Thursday (it's wavering though) and then an even warmer rain returns for the end of the week and into the weekend. (Not pineapple express or anything, just rainy and near 60).

So even though I've thought this twice before, that should finally be the end of snow for this season. But then again, the thesaurus still has a few words yet I haven't used for "amazing" so I'm ready just in case :)