A chilly day on tap but snowflakes in fairly short supply

A chilly day on tap but snowflakes in fairly short supply
In this image from a WSDOT traffic camera, light snow falls along I-5 in Whatcom County on Thursday morning.
SEATTLE – For Seattle-area snow lovers, Thursday morning brought a cruel irony: After the 6th-wettest autumn on record, the area finally gets cold enough for snow, only there isn't a whole lot of moisture around to take advantage of it in most areas.

There was just enough snow over toward Monroe, Sultan and Index Wednesday night that schools there decided to open 2 hours late Thursday (check for any other school delays at this site) but the vast majority of the region was in fine condition and schools were running on time.

A batch of showers up near Bellingham as of 4:45 a.m. and slowly drifted south along the I-5 corridor. That brought a wet snow or rain/snow mix to western Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties early this morning, and into parts of Snohomish County by 9 a.m.

The ragged snow showers, fueled by a bit of convergence between northerly winds from the Canada's Strait of Georgia and southerly winds in the Puget Sound region, was slowly sinking south to where light snow also was falling over the northern end of Kitsap and King County by mid-morning as well. However, no reports of sticking beyond a little on the grass and trees in areas above 400 feet either as temperatures remained a little above freezing.

This general batch of rain/wet snow showers will gradually sink south through the day, focusing on Snohomish and King County through the late morning and early afternoon, then King County during the afternoon, gradually weakening and reaching northern Pierce County in the afternoon and early evening.

We are still not expecting any accumulations beyond a dusting -- except maybe 1" out toward higher foothills in eastern King and northeastern Pierce Counties this afternoon. The main Seattle-Tacoma-Everett freeways and main roads will remain just wet. Meanwhile, skies will begin to clear from the north by late in the day as well with highs stuck in the 30s.

However, those clearing skies are setting us up, ironically, for what may be a far more treacherous commute on Friday morning. Overnight temperatures are expected to plunge into the mid 20s across the region -- perhaps even teens near Bellingham -- meaning these wet roads are going to turn into icy roads.

Friday itself will be full of sunshine but remain cold with highs in the mid 30s. That again sets us up for another very cold night Friday night with lows in the teens to mid 20s.

Our next potential bout with snow comes on Saturday, although it's a bit uncertain. Some forecast models show potential showers that could bring perhaps as much as 1-3" where these hit-and-miss showers roam. But models are keeping much, if not all of the moisture west of Puget Sound, focusing on the coast, Southwestern Washington and the Olympic Peninsula. It's close enough that those in the I-5 corridor need to keep watch to the forecasts but at this time, it appears the Seattle Metro area may miss out again.

Models are fairly sure we're dry again Sunday into the early next week. Highs will gradually warm into the low-mid 40s by the middle of the week.