Record-breaking cold hits western Washington; lowland snow expected Saturday evening

While the sun shone down on Western Washington, residents were busy preparing for yet another winter storm. Customers at McLendon Hardware in Woodinville stocked up on snow shovels, heaters, and de-icer in anticipation of rough days ahead.

On Friday, the store was still stocked full of supplies, but the management there told KIRO 7′s Lauren Donovan that is not going to last for long.

“Homeowners wait until the last minute,” said employee Rigo Lozoya. “You’ve got to be prepared, especially in this climate right now. You never know what you’re going to be getting.”

Many customers came in extra bundled up, Kathy Macinroy among them.

“It hurt to take a breath at first,” said Macinroy. “It was 22 when I left!”

Shopper Michael Elliot came to McLendon’s out of necessity. He needed a new heater.

“It broke last night, so this morning I woke up, it was really cold,” said Elliot.


We got a clear and chilly start to the day on Saturday, but expect increasing high clouds through the day as a weather system approaches from the northwest. This will bring mainly cloudy to overcast skies to the Sound by mid-afternoon, if not earlier, and some rain and snow to the Olympic Peninsula in the afternoon.

By Saturday evening, not long after sunset, some precipitation will begin falling around the Sound. While temperatures then will be in the lower 40s, the evaporative cooling effect of precipitation into the cold, dry airmass in place will quickly drop temperatures into the mid-30s by late evening as the heavier precipitation arrives.

Fortunately for travel concerns in the lowlands, this period of snowfall expected Saturday night and Sunday morning will be short-lived and be most widespread and heaviest in the overnight hours. By sunrise Sunday, the larger area of snowfall across the area will be gone.

>>Download the KIRO 7 Weather App to track the snow

Temperatures – while cold – remain marginal for heavy accumulation near sea level into Sunday morning. For locations right along Puget Sound, a trace to an inch of snow can be expected, with two to three inches in locations nearer the Cascades – including some of our Eastside communities. Near the Canadian border in Whatcom County, heavier snowfall is possible with seriously disruptive snow north in the Vancouver, BC region.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for much of the lowlands from 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon through 10 a.m. Sunday.

A Winter Storm Warning goes into effect Saturday night for the mountain passes. Snow will be heavy Saturday night and early Sunday with a foot or more of accumulation. Pass travel could be tricky.

During the day Sunday, we’ll have showers of rain/wet snow/small hail and even the possibility for an isolated thunderstorm. This will happen in spots where it’s sunny in other areas. So hit-and-miss impacts to travel. Highs will be in the lower 40s, helping to melt earlier snow accumulation.

On Monday and Tuesday, we’ll still have spotty areas of precipitation of mainly rain during the afternoon and evening, but rain/snow mix overnights, so we’ll be watching for minor travel impacts in spots.

We’ll dry out a bit by mid-week with slightly milder temperatures, but still, highs stay in the 40s in the lowlands through the first weekend of March. Average highs are in the low 50s.