May 21, 2024
Winter weather is still on the docket this week with a cold front coming into the Puget Sound region, bringing both snow and high winds.

Despite the sun peeking its head out past 5 p.m. these days — Monday’s sunset is expected around 5:40 p.m. — winter weather is still on the docket with a cold front coming into the Puget Sound region, bringing both snow and high winds.
Seattle finally experiences first 5 p.m. sunset of 2023
“The snow levels are right around 4,000 feet. It’s snowing like gangbusters up there at Stevens,” Meteorologist Ted Buehner said on Seattle’s Morning News. “But it is raining hard up in Snoqualmie Pass right now. It’s also raining at White Pass, but those snow levels after this system come through here tonight, they’re going to be dropping down well below the past levels, and it’s going to continue to snow up there. That’s why we have the high avalanche situation.”
There is currently a Level 4 (out of 5) warning for avalanches in both the east and west slopes of the Central Cascades.
Fluctuating temperatures, varying at about a 4,000-foot snowline, means that the snowpack may be heavy, or potentially upside down in nature for most elevations. Upside down, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC), means lighter, dryer, low-density snow sits underneath heavier, wetter snow — a recipe for high avalanche activity.
“You get this heavy, wet snow up on those steep slopes and, simply put, gravity is going to play a role here,” Buehner said. “So it wouldn’t surprise me that some of our mountain paths highways may be closed for a little while they do some avalanche control, knock the snow down, clear it out, and then let the traffic resume from there.”
A significant amount of cold air is expected to follow, coming down from British Columbia through the Fraser Canyon. Whether or not this cold air is expected to bring in any additional snow depends on how much moisture is left.
More from Ted Buehner: 2023 is another great year to look at the stars
“By the time the cold get air gets here, I suspect there’ll be some locations with a little bit of snow here and there,” Buehner said. “By the time we get into Wednesday morning, the skies are going to clear out. We’re going to have highs in the 30s for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with lows down to the 20s and, in some of the outlying areas, down into the teens.
“Winter is still here and this is a nice, subtle reminder that that’s the case,” Buehner continued. “But no real snow threat through the rest of the week until we get towards the weekend.”
Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.