An incoming jet stream is bringing a very wintry weather pattern — including lots of mountain snow that will cheer skiers.
You’re going to need your rain gear this week. Starting Tuesday, Seattle’s weather forecast returns to normal: a lot of rain.
It’s not typically big news when a “jet stream” — a ribbon of air high up in the atmosphere — comes into the area from over the Pacific Ocean. But after a period of unusually calm weather for Western Washington, it’s coming in full force, bringing rain, wind and snow.
“We’ve had it fairly easy so far, but that’s about to change this week,” meteorologist Dustin Guy with the National Weather Service in Seattle said Monday.
Puget Sound-area residents can expect heavy rain starting Tuesday.
A wind advisory is in effect starting Monday night for coastal areas in the Olympic Peninsula and northern interior (Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Oak Harbor and Friday Harbor). Winds may reach 45 to 50 mph starting late Monday night and lasting through Tuesday morning. This could cause power outages, the Weather Service warns.
The Cascade Mountains will see 1 to 3 feet of snow from late Monday night through late Tuesday night. A winter-storm watch is in effect for areas in the Cascades above 2,500 feet. You may want to reconsider travel plans through the passes, if you’re planning to drive between late Monday and Wednesday. Otherwise, be prepared for hazardous driving conditions. For a refresher, check out our winter driving tips.
Chains were required Monday morning on Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass for all vehicles that don’t have four-wheel drive, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. WSDOT is reminding drivers to slow down and give road workers extra space.
The snow is welcome news to skiers, who’ve been faced with delayed openings due to a lack of snow. Crystal Mountain is open for skiing and snowboarding and will open more areas as weather allows. The Summit at Snoqualmie is hoping to open soon. Stevens Pass will open Wednesday. Mount Baker Ski Area is also anticipating a Wednesday opening, with up to 20 inches of snow expected Tuesday. Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort in Wenatchee will open for daily operation starting Dec. 14.