Snow, freezing temperatures

Feb 23, 2011

The brunt of an arctic cold front is expected to hit Western Washington this afternoon, bringing wind and 2 to 6 inches of snow.  National Weather Service meteorologist Art Gable says temperatures "will drop below freezing and remain below into Thursday morning." A winter storm warning remains in effect through 10 a.m. Thursday.

The snow could make it difficult for commuters to get home today. In Seattle, Mayor Mike McGinn is suggesting people work from home or take public transportation. Here's a link to various transit sites in the Puget Sound region.  A number of schools in the region are closed. Here's a link to school closures.  Some districts, including Seattle Public Schools, are on mid-winter break this week.

The Seattle Transportation Department says it has pre-treated roads with an anti-icing solution and has up to 30 snow plows ready to go.  Last November, there was massive gridlock during an afternoon snowstorm after the de-icing solution used by the city was unable to handle the extremely cold temperatures.  

As for which cities will see the heaviest snowfall this afternoon, meteorologist Art Gable says it all depends.

"If the arctic front gets held up in the northern counties of Snohomish and Skagit, then those areas will get more, but right now(7 a.m.) look for the front to slide through this afternoon and tonight and pretty much everbody will see some snow."

Weather forecasting isn't an exact science and meteorologists don't always agree.  Cliff Mass, University of Washington meteorologist gives a counter view on the approaching storm.  In his blog, Mass writes:

"Last night the National Weather Service was going for a hard freeze of this stuff later today during the commute home. Looking at the situation now I believe that is highly unlikely. Temperatures will remain at or slightly above freezing during the day."

Link to WDOT traffic cameras