Some parts of Northwest Washington, particularly north of Everett and at elevations about 300 feet or higher, saw as much as an inch of snow on the ground early Friday morning.
Those flakes and flurries aren’t much to worry about, though, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. Temperatures warmed by 10 a.m. Friday, meteorologist Dana Felton said.
What people should prepare for, said meteorologist Mike McFarland: a modified Arctic front on its way to the Puget Sound region that will bring bitter cold early next week, along with “our first chance of real problematic snow.”
Officials are preparing to open severe-weather shelters in King County Sunday night in preparation for freezing temperatures in the region. Emergency winter-weather shelters opened in Snohomish County on Thursday night.
By next week, the weather service is forecasting high temperatures around 30 degrees and lows in the 20s and upper teens near Seattle. Lows could reach 10 degrees near Bellingham on Tuesday, which is predicted to be the coldest day next week.
McFarland said the Arctic air is above Alberta and British Columbia now, will leak through the Fraser River Valley by Monday and Tuesday, then will blast through Bellingham and spread through the straits.
That cold air will also lower the snow level to sea level, McFarland said. That means, if there’s enough moisture and precipitation in the air, Seattle will get snow and it could stick around.
But meteorologists will not be able to say with certainty until this weekend, or even early next week, whether there will be enough precipitation to bring snow.
“A typical Arctic front will give us an inch or two, but the question is whether it will dry out or not as the cold comes down,” McFarland said. “It could be wetter farther south or north. It’s just too early to say.”