The Weather Service forecast for the Seattle area calls for a chance of rain and snow showers on Thursday and Christmas Day 2015.
A white Christmas?
It’s not impossible, but if you really want to see snow on Christmas Day — or anytime this week — your best bet is to head for the hills.
The National Weather Service forecast for the Seattle area calls for a chance of rain and snow showers on Thursday and Christmas Day.
But with high temperatures nearing 40s on those days, it doesn’t appear that Puget Sound residents will see a big dump of yuletide snow.
According to the Weather Service, the Seattle area historically has less than a 10 percent chance of a white Christmas, commonly defined as having an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. Over the past 120 years, it’s only happened in 2008, 1990, 1965 and 1909, according to the service.
At midday Monday, snow had been seen falling in the Olympia, Tacoma and Bremerton areas, according to Weather Service meteorologist Art Gaebel. A mix of rain and snow prevailed in some areas during the afternoon, affecting total snow accumulation.
In the meantime, wet has been the order of the day — or the entire month.
The 1.1 inches of rain that fell between the 24-hour period beginning 6 p.m. Sunday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has made this the sixth-wettest December on record in Seattle — with more than a week remaining.
So far this month, Sea-Tac has had about 11 inches of rain, compared to a normal total for the entire month of 5.35 inches. The wettest December in the Seattle area, in records going back 120 years, was 15.33 inches in 1933, according to a Weather Service Facebook page.
With the Seattle area forecast calling for the possibility of significant rain Tuesday, the risk of mudslides remains due to supersaturated soil. By Wednesday, the chance of rain drops to 50 percent.
Christmas Day, if the forecast holds, would see only a slight chance of any precipitation, with partly-sunny skies that could allow for a brisk walk outside before the holiday feast.
Forecasting snow in the Seattle area is difficult because it requires a cloud cover that often has the effect of holding in a blanket of warm air.
It’s most likely in the mountain foothills and in a convergence zone that often sets up near Everett or the King/Snohomish County line.
Stormy weather tips
Gaebel in Seattle said it’s too early to say with confidence whether the city’s chance of seeing snow will increase during the week.
This much is certain: Gaining elevation will improve your chances of seeing white. The mountains have been getting snow by the bucketload, and snow is in the forecast each day this week — much to the enjoyment of skiers on winter vacation.
If the dark days have been getting you down, take comfort in the fact that Monday was the Winter Solstice, with winter officially arriving at 8:49 p.m. The days will now start getting longer.