New storm to prolong cold, snowy pattern in Seattle

More wintry weather is heading toward the Pacific Northwest, including Seattle, to begin December following a cold and snowy end to November.

Snow is forecast to fall again in the Emerald City from late Friday into Saturday, according to AccuWeather forecasters. While the snowflakes will add to the ambiance of the holiday season, roads and sidewalks could turn slippery to start the weekend. The snow will be the product of a new storm that will brush the coast of the Northwest.

"The storm should be far enough off the coast to keep the most of the precipitation along and west of the Cascades," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Heather Zehr.

A swirling storm can be seen in this image taken on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, showing the northwestern United States, southwestern Canada and adjacent waters of the Pacific Ocean. (AccuWeather Enhanced RealVue™ satellite)

When the precipitation arrives in Seattle during Friday evening, it may begin as a brief period of rain before colder air rushing in quickly transforms any rain into snow.

"Snow levels on Friday night will be down below 500 feet, and perhaps as low as 200 feet for a time, allowing snow to reach downtown Seattle with a small accumulation likely," said Zehr. The snow will then taper off and come to an end by Saturday morning.

Anywhere from a coating to as much as an inch of snow is currently forecast for the greater Seattle-Tacoma area and nearby locales along the I-5 corridor. Higher amounts, with up to a few inches, can occur in nearby higher elevations, such as the foothills east of the city, and the Olympic Mountain range west of Puget Sound.

The warning of new snow comes as the residents in the city and nearby areas continue to clear away the few inches of accumulation from a prolonged storm that affected the region from Tuesday into Thursday.

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 1.1 inches of snow was reported as of early Thursday morning. That was also the entirety of the snow that fell there for the month of November, well above the average monthly value of 0.2 of an inch. The snow that fell during the final days of November made it the snowiest November there since 2010 when 2.6 inches fell.


Due to this incoming storm, December could end up being a snowier-than-average month as well. In a typical December, 1.7 inches of snow is usually measured in Seattle.

A fresh round of cold air will help set the stage for the next round of accumulating snow. This will come on the heels of temperatures that didn't get above the 30s and lower 40s from Monday through Wednesday.

Temperatures will challenge records by dipping into the mid-20s on Thursday night, and the mercury may not get out of the 30s on Friday. With the cold air in place, the snow should have no problem accumulating on many untreated surfaces, while major highways, such as I-5, will probably remain largely wet or slushy, forecasters say.

Although the snow will come to an end on Saturday, the cold will not be in a hurry to leave. Temperatures will remain in the 30s and lower 40s for the most part well into next week. Temperatures at this level are about 5 to 10 degrees below average for the first half of December in the Seattle area.

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