Seeing The White

Posted by Rufus La Lone on

Monday February 19 - Presidents Day
Well, there is an interesting development in the long-range forecast involving ‘The White’.  Before that, let’s cover the week ahead.  Mug ☕️ time.
Cool & damp for the next 2+ days, as a Low pressure cell moves north off the OR coast while 'filling in' (weakening, as the center pressure rises).  Moisture will essentially move into the PNW from the south-southwest.  All of California will continue to get rain bands through Tue evening from the same Low.  
There is general model agreement as to a short dry spell late Wed through most of Saturday, Feb 21-24.  Temperatures will warm just a little - think 50s in most locations.  Straight sunshine may be a challenge, as cloud cover will vary across the PNW.  Late Saturday begins another interesting ‘winter’ event for the entire PNW and portions of California.
As noted in our last discussion, late Saturday evening a cold front will drop into the region from the NW, with very cold air trailing behind the front.  Indeed, the air mass is modeled to be the coldest since our last winter episode.  This time, though, it will arrive from off the eastern Pacific carrying enough moisture for lowering SNOW LEVELS by early Sunday.  Timing is variable, per usual, however, there is a high probability for SNOW at the surface for western WA & OR late Sunday on into early Tue.  Rain turning to snow - from N to S - is our call for sometime Sunday Feb 25.  The coldest air may not arrive until after sunset Sunday, but that doesn’t eliminate the best chance we have had for snowfall in several weeks.  Monday Feb 26 could easily be a ‘snow day’ for regional schools - keep that in mind & prepare, just in case.  We do not see an ice storm type of event.  We’ll update, of course, in our next discussion this Friday Feb 23
The snow event, should it develop, will be short-lived, lasting a day or two. This time, though, the ground will be warm, so melting will take place rather rapidly at first.  We believe the moisture will continue to move onshore long enough for accumulation.   A couple inches of snow on valley floors is not out of the question. 
The air mass will dry down late Tue into Wed Feb 27,28 and is likely to REMAIN dry on through Fri March 1.  ICY roads Wed morning.  Sip your commute ☕️ with caution.
The month of March is trending to start with cool days & the chance for showers during the weekend of Mar 2,3.  That said, models also indicate that moisture that weekend may follow the 'El Niño Path’ into California instead of the PNW.  If so, the weekend of Mar 2,3 may remain dry around the PNW.  So, too, could most of the following week of Mar 4-8.  We’ll see.
Bottom line: one more shot of The White on valley floors is looking possible in a week.  A lot can change, but that is why you are reading this —> to know the possible & plan ahead, just in case.
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