Updated Friday 5:50 a.m.
Friday morning's commute will be challenging at times, as heavier showers are rotating through Western Washington today. We'll see sunbreaks alternating with the shower (or even a stray thundershower!) action throughout the day, and highs will come up to about 50 degrees--once again warm for December. As a result, the snow level is running a bit high at 3,500', but it will get a lot higher this weekend...
A series of soggy Pacific storms are heading toward the west coast this weekend, and we'll end up with a pair of warm, wet and windy days as a result. A HIGH WIND WATCH is already in place for the coast and the Northwest Interior, as locations including LaPush, Bellingham, Anacortes and Sedro Wooley could see southerly wind gusts overnight and into Saturday from 40 to 55 mph. It will be locally breezy around the Sound too; look for south winds picking up over 30 mph at times tonight and Saturday.
It will still be cool enough early Saturday morning for a good dose of snow in the passes, so if you have mountain travel in mind, prepare for winter driving conditions over the main east-west routes over the Cascades, especially Stevens Pass. By Saturday afternoon, temps in the lowlands will warm well into the 50s, and the snow level will push to over 6,000'---this will eventually bring steady rain rather than snow to the passes.
The steady rain gives way to showers later Sunday, but another round of rain should kick off the work week early Monday. Highs will cool back to about 50 degrees on Monday afternoon.
As we approach Christmas, the atmosphere starts to dry out and cool down, making for easier local travel if you have plans to hit the highways. Wednesday looks mainly dry with seasonable highs in the middle 40s, and Christmas Day will feature patchy fog followed by partly sunny skies and highs in the lower to middle 40s--chilly, but perfect for getting outdoors to try out any new toys and gadgets Santa might bring...!
Have a fabulous blue Friday, and Go Hawks!
Meteorologist Shannon O'Donnell
The KOMO4 Forecast Team