Rejoice? Or Mourn? Snow is done in Seattle for a while. Well, mostly done...
SEATTLE -- After taking the brunt of four winter storms that have left many residents not measuring rare winter snowfall in inches, but in feet, even some of the region's biggest snow fans might be thinking it's time for a break, and that perhaps Hawaii has never looked better.
(Wait, it snowed in Hawaii, too?)
OK, maybe Arizona. But if the sight of falling snowflakes now has you either cowering in fear or rolling your eyes in dread, you're likely wondering if it's now safe to stay right here in the Pacific Northwest. I mean, we can't do *5* winter storms around here. That would be just silly.
Even the ski resorts are thinking: "You know what? Maybe that was a little too much snow":
Well there is good news: The lowland snow... is dead!...?
Eh, maybe in the words of Billy Crystal in "Princess Bride": Mostly dead.
But for about 2 in 3 of you, you might be willing to take "mostly dead" as long as it means you can stop spending hours a day fruitlessly shoveling your driveway only to see it all get covered again 36 hours later.
The warm front that managed to at least bring rain up to the King-Snohomish County line scoured out the cold air from Seattle southward and it's been raining since Monday evening there. North of the King-Snohomish County line where the north wind has been winning the battle, temperatures have managed to stay at or a little below freezing, keeping snow showers going.
We're losing the precipitation later Tuesday as this front sags away and we begin to dry out. Expect partial clearing Tuesday night with a light freeze in the outlying areas to the upper 20s but holding right around the freezing mark in the city.
Wednesday is a break! It'll still be mostly cloudy but dry and highs should claw their way to near 40 degrees, getting a good snow melt under way.
This could cause some issues Wednesday night as clearing skies allow for another hard freeze into the upper teens to mid 20s. So whatever melts will freeze overnight making Thursday morning's commute tricky.
Our next weather system comes in Thursday morning and this is where "mostly" dead comes into play: It's possible it might briefly start as wet snow in some places coming out of the chilly night -- inconceivable! -- but this is a milder storm with snow levels quickly rising to 500 feet or higher. Still, some forecast charts show maybe a quick Trace-2 inches before the changeover, with best chances of a couple inches in that infamous 500 feet or higher zone.
But for the rest of the lowlands it'll quickly melt away with highs getting near 40 and minimal impacts expected. Besides, we're all 6-12" snow veterans at this point, right? Seattle's had 8 times more snow than Boston this winter!
Cool showers remain in the forecast Friday into the weekend, but with snow levels bouncing between 500 and 1,000 feet depending on time of day. The arctic air in B.C. isn't quite as cold and the weather systems are coming from milder origins so the major widespread snowstorms appear off the board now, especially in the Seattle lowlands.
Sure, the Eastside foothills and hilly parts of Snohomish and eastern Pierce County might see occasional snowflakes with slushy accumulations, but getting to and from Seattle should be back to just wet roads, not caked in ice roads. And finding your favorite loaf of bread or carton of eggs should become a much more simple task with checkout lanes not stretching into the back warehouse.
If you have become addicted to snow and can't live without it, it won't be too far away. Long range models continue to advertise much colder than normal conditions over the next two weeks, meaning the mountains will get clobbered with snow with each successive weather system, but all signs point to the end of major Seattle snow storms.