Reporting System

Seattle Could Get Hit by Biggest Storm in Decades

The snow into Thursday could end up being one of Seattle’s biggest on record. The storm and its heavy snowfall have the potential to close passes in the Cascades, clog streets at sea level with tons of snow and slush and force flight delays and cancellations. Near the coast, the snow will be heavy, wet and difficult to shovel. The combination of heavy, wet snow with winds in some areas will down trees, taking power lines with them.

In the mountains, a yard or more of snow will fall in the high country. The combination of the excessive snow now and rising temperatures late in the week will increase the risk of avalanches. The heaviest rate of snow will hit Seattle Wednesday, when the snow could come down at an inch-per-hour. As temperatures rise and rain falls near sea level later during the series of storms this week and beyond, urban and poor drainage area flooding can occur. The storms will continue to push across the nation from the Pacific over the next couple of weeks. The pattern will bring rain and mountain snow to much of California before it is done.

The same pattern will also treat some northern tier states of the Rockies, Plains, Midwest and Northeast with snow and ice events in the days ahead. In Seattle, snowfall into Wednesday will rival two storms in November 1985 and others that occurred in the 1970s and 1960s.

While this storm will fall short of the blockbuster storms of 1880, 1916, 1969 and 1950, over a foot of snow could accumulate in part of the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Unlike most storms over the Midwest and East, which drop their load of snow in a matter of hours, storms in the Northwest often last days. In many cases, the biggest snowfalls in Seattle and the Cascades are a series of storms all jammed together.



January 18, 2012 - Posted by | Climate, Weather | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I live in bellingham right now. We got hit here pretty hard but nothing like the power outages in Seattle. Was there an incredible amount of wind? How did it all happen?

    Comment by Positive Jake | January 23, 2012 | Reply

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