A Snow Non-Event

Friday, November 18, 2011

10:25 P.M.

Various places around the area have seen some snow tonight, even places in Seattle. However, our snow looks over for now. The models were showing a low pressure system coming in around Grays Harbor overnight and giving us additional snow showers, but this low pressure system is much weaker than the models showed it. Apart from being much less precipitation, the weaker low has also failed to bring in a cool northerly flow. In fact, the snow level is around 1,000 feet or so right now, clearly not conductive for snow.
The models this morning were actually pointing to some snow over our area, with some quite heavy amounts further to our south. These were some of the first model runs that were actually pointing to snow over the lowlands. Take a look at the UW high-resolution GFS run from this morning. Look at all the snow, particularly to our south!!!
 Valid 04:00 pm PST Sat, 19 Nov 2011 – 36hr Fcst – UW 12z 4/3km WRF-GFS 24-hour snowfall
Some places in the south Sound and away from water were expected to get up to 8 inches! I was super excited, and the National Weather Service issued snow advisories for the South Sound. Even then, they were playing it safe, with their snow advisories predicting 1-3 inches of snow for the south sound. Seattle proper was not included in the snow advisory, but this model still showed 1-2 inches of snow for Seattle, with the higher amounts towards the south. 
Then, the model runs came out tonight, and showed absolutely no snow for Seattle, with much lighter amounts to the south.
 Valid 04:00 pm PST Sat, 19 Nov 2011 – 24hr Fcst – UW 00z 4km WRF-GFS 24-hour snowfall
Most of you reading should have a frowny face on by now. When I saw these models, I know I sure did.
Places near the sound are now predicted to get no snow. Seattle will not see accumulating snow tonight, and I am doubtful that the places with snow advisories will see the 1-3 inches predicted. I’d predict trace-1 inch amounts in the places that do see snow. 
This snow “event” may have not panned out for most people, but we will see some interesting weather next week. Models show flooding off the Olympics and high winds on the coast next week. I’ll update this blog tomorrow with more information on the wild weather we can expect next week. Thanksgiving week is statistically the stormiest time of the entire year, and I think we’ll get more than our share this time around.
Thanks for reading!
Charlie
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