Meteorologists expect a "modified arctic front" to sweep the Seattle area this weekend — bringing the coldest temperatures so far this winter — after days of wind and rain.
Meteorologists expect cold air from British Columbia to blast Western Washington this weekend, with the potential of dumping more than an inch of snow in the Seattle area.
The National Weather Service expects a “modified arctic front” to move through the metro area as early as late Saturday night — bringing with it the coldest temperatures so far this winter — after wind and rain Friday and Saturday.
“It’s hard to say how much snow will run here,” said Mike McFarland, a meteorologist in Seattle. “If you have to be somewhere during the day Sunday … they (roads) will be pretty slippery.”
Wind speeds beginning late Friday could threaten power lines and trees, as well as pose challenges for drivers in the mountains with blowing snow, the service says.
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The forecast calls for a high temperature of 49 degrees Friday — before McFarland said conditions “cool off sharply” with the dry air front from the north.
Overnight lows could reach the 20s and 30s, with highs in the 40s Saturday and Sunday, according to the service’s 10-day forecast.
Thermometers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where the service measures weather conditions for the Seattle area, have not dipped below 28 degrees so far this season, McFarland said.
“It’s been pretty mild this winter,” McFarland said. “We had the fifth warmest January on record.”
The service urges people to wrap pipes this weekend to prevent them from bursting with the cold snap.
The forecast for President’s Day on Monday calls for sun and a high temperature of 39 degrees.
Meanwhile, snow will continue piling in the Cascades and Olympics.
By Sunday, some mountainous areas could accumulate between one and two feet of snow, the service says.
Drivers should prepare for difficult driving conditions in the mountains by packing an emergency kit, including flashlights and a spare cellphone charger, among other essentials.
And for updates on roadway conditions and closures, call 511 or check the Washington Department of Transportation’s website.
“It’s going to be coming down pretty heavy,” McFarland said. “Be ready for it.”