Snow or No Snow?

Last year's November snow did a number on the I-5 commute. (Photo: MvB)

It’s that time of year when Seattleites look anxiously to the skies, then to weather forecasters–who shrug–and then back to the skies. Will it snow? That depends on where you live, and what you mean by “Seattle.” Everett has already gotten one or two inches of “slushy snow.” (Stay tuned to SDOT’s Facebook page for a central source of winter transportation updates.)

KOMO’s Paul Deanno has this to say:

Temperatures will tumble overnight tonight, and the snow level will fall to 500 feet.  This means a chance of lowland snow showers in some locations.  We will be drying out rapidly, so the biggest limiting factor will be a lack of moisture.

That’s backed up by the UW’s Probcast-ometer, which sees just a 25 percent chance of precipitation Friday day, and 15 percent by Friday night. The high for Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th is just 40 degrees, so be prepared to bundle up no matter what. (If it gets too cold for you, you can seek shelter at Pies & Pints this Saturday, for BlogsGiving 4.)

On the other hand, one reason that people are jumpy at this time is because last year’s November snowstorm developed with startling speed, taking most people by surprise. The “ingredients for a major explosion are laying around,” writes UW meteorologist Cliff Mass:

This is getting close to the western Washington snow pattern except for two important issues:  there is little or no precipitation by this point due to lack of upper level support…maybe a few showers–yes even snow showers.  And the air is not quite cold enough to guarantee snow. But remember what I said about explosives….a lot of the ingredients are in the vicinity, if the evolution is a bit different than well…it could get interesting.

Of course, that’s all lowlands talk. If you are heading to the mountain passes, snow if definitely in your future. Take a peek online before you go.