Quick Saturday Snow Update

February 2, 2019

10:30am Saturday…

Just a quick update.  I’ve got an important family event to get to this afternoon.  But I’ll be thinking all weather tomorrow!

  • Nothing interesting happens through early Sunday evening.  A nice day today, then increasing showers Sunday afternoon
  • Temperatures and sticking snow level falls Sunday night.  By sunrise Monday there COULD be sticking snow (in showers) all the way down to sea level.  Remember this is the “wet snow” sort of setup, not the “frozen roads” sort of thing.
  • During the daytime Monday we’ll rise well into the 30s so lowland highways/roads should be okay.
  • Yes, there may be school delays/closures Monday morning.  Especially in hilly areas, Coast Range, etc…  I see somewhere between a slushy mix on barkdust to an 1″ in the I-5 metro areas at this point for the Monday morning commute.

Now that we’re within 48 hours it’s appropriate to show a few snow forecast maps from various models.  Here’s the WRF-GFS from UW, ECMWF (Euro), and our RPM model

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Notice none of them (at this point) are showing more than 2″ in the main I-5 corridor lowlands where most of us live.

Two big caveats:

  1. The NAM and WRF-GFS are bringing cold arctic air south through Eastern Washington Sunday night and Monday morning.  They push it through the Gorge on cold easterly wind and it’s here at sunrise Monday.  I think most likely they are overdoing the cold air.  That would lead to a more “frozen/east wind” sort of setup that would impact us much more.  The more reliable Euro and Canadian models don’t show that, keeping us in a “scattered snow shower” setup.

Notice the WRF-GFS showing a classic snow-storm setup with surface low pressure offshore and at least 8 millibars of very cold east wind blowing through the Gorge


2) At various times the past 48 hours models have been trying to show a more concentrated band of heavier precipitation Monday morning/midday right over us.  That could produce a more widespread wet/heavy snowfall.  At this point no model is showing that so I’ll discount that as well.

I’ll be up early Sunday morning in full weather mode so I should have a more extensive blog post with some “final” forecast numbers by late morning/midday.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen