The snow and the persistent cold are rare for this time of the year. Temperatures are expected to rise back to normal by the middle of the week.
The chill covering the Puget Sound this weekend has been unlike any start-of-November cold in the past four decades. That snow is pretty rare, too.
On Saturday, the Seattle area recorded a high of just 41 degrees, which the National Weather Service said was the area’s coldest day in the first week of November in 44 years. The coldest day on record for that week was 38 degrees on Nov. 6, 1945.
Sunday began with a similar 40 degrees, and the temperature subsequently dropped closer to freezing.
Jeff Michalski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, said the cold trough covering the region is set to begin moving away with the end of the weekend. High temperatures are expected to rise back into the 50s by the middle of the week.
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“This isn’t a long-term pattern here,” Michalski said. “Temperatures will get back to normal.”
Along with snowfall that blanketed parts of the region on Friday, another round of snow came through western Washington on Sunday. It’s rare to get snowfall this early in the season, and the Seattle area’s earliest measurable snowfall on record was Oct. 27, 1971, he said.
Some parts of western Washington saw snow accumulate. The weather service said reports from places like Sequim and Port Angeles indicated that they had received more than 2 inches of snow. Parts of Snohomish and King County, such as Redmond and Woodinville, saw accumulations of less than an inch. Flakes in Seattle didn’t stick around.
Michalski said the Sunday snowfall was in some areas dependent on elevation — with places up on high hills seeing some snow accumulation while lower-lying areas getting mostly rain.
At Snoqualmie Pass, several inches of snow and a series of vehicle crashes led the state Department of Transportation to close both directions of Interstate 90 for part of Sunday.
The rain and snow ended Sunday night, but temperatures remained frigid Monday morning in some areas, such as Arlington, where it was 26 degrees and Shelton where it was 31, leading to potentially icy roads.
“If some roads and surfaces have any moisture left over, there could be some black ice, which can be slippery for drivers and walkers,” said meteorologist Johnny Burg early Monday. In addition, he said, freezing fog could reduce visibility and cause slippery surfaces. “Drivers should be careful,” he said.
It’s expected to begin warming up after Monday, though, with a forecast of partly sunny and a high of 47 degrees on Tuesday. A breeze will move in Wednesday, the weather service predicts, and the day will be windy though mostly sunny with a chance of showers and a high near 50.