WEATHER UPDATE: Snow May Start As Early As Saturday Morning


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The National Weather Service has moved up its prediction of weekend snow, now claiming that the white stuff may hit the northwest as early as Saturday morning, some 12-24 hours earlier than its last update.

Snow may start earlier, and may linger around until Wednesday, so be sure to stock up and be ready to hunker down if needed.

Here’s the latest special weather statement, released late Friday afternoon (Jan. 13):

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
353 PM PST FRI JAN 13 2012

…A COLD FRONT WILL BRING COLDER AIR BEHIND IT SATURDAY MORNING FOR A CHANCE OF LOWLAND SNOW SHOWERS… …A SERIES OF ACTIVE STORM SYSTEMS NEXT WEEK WILL BRING PERIODS OF WINTER WEATHER TO WESTERN WASHINGTON…

A COLD FRONT WILL CROSS WESTERN WASHINGTON EARLY SATURDAY MORNING. THE AIR MASS IS EXPECTED TO BE COLD ENOUGH SO THAT SNOW LEVELS WILL LOWER BELOW 500 FEET. SCATTERED RAIN OR SNOW SHOWERS WILL BECOME MORE PREDOMINANTLY SNOW SHOWERS SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY. THESE HIT AND MISS SHOWERS WILL LIKELY PRODUCE SPOTTY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF TWO INCHES OR LESS ACROSS WESTERN WASHINGTON. AREAS WITH MORE PERSISTENT SHOWER ACTIVITY LIKE THE PUGET SOUND CONVERGENCE ZONE COULD HAVE LOCALLY HIGHER ACCUMULATIONS AS WELL AS AREAS WITH A LITTLE ELEVATION.

NEXT WEEK…A SERIES OF STRONGER AND WETTER FRONTAL SYSTEMS WILL MOVE ACROSS THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST…STARTING AROUND MONDAY. THESE WEATHER SYSTEMS WILL BRING A THREAT OF SIGNIFICANT SNOW TO THE LOWLANDS. THE EXACT TRACK AND STRENGTH OF THE SYSTEMS THAT WILL BRING THIS WINTER WEATHER THREAT ARE UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME.

PLEASE MONITOR LATEST FORECAST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

Here’s the latest forecast:

Tonight: Showers after 4am. Low around 36. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Saturday: Rain showers before 10am, then snow showers likely, possibly mixed with rain. High near 41. South wind 13 to 15 mph becoming west. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Saturday Night: A chance of rain and snow showers before 10pm, then a chance of snow showers. Snow level 200 feet. Cloudy, with a low around 32. Southwest wind between 8 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Sunday: A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 37. South wind between 7 and 13 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Sunday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 29. Light west southwest wind. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

M.L.King Day: A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Snow level 200 feet. Cloudy, with a high near 37. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Monday Night: A chance of snow showers. Snow level 300 feet. Cloudy, with a low around 31. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Tuesday: A chance of rain and snow showers. Snow level 300 feet. Cloudy, with a high near 39.

Tuesday Night: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 32.

Wednesday: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 40.

Wednesday Night: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 36.

Thursday: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 40.

Thursday Night: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 36.

Friday: A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a high near 41.

The county also issued the following statement:

Snow in the forecast: prepare now for possible winter weather emergencies

Restock your vehicle emergency kit and sign up for public alerts

The National Weather Service is forecasting cold weather and likely snowfall within the next several days. The King County Office of Emergency Management urges residents and businesses to prepare now for possible winter weather emergencies.

Before the weather turns bad, make sure your family, home, and vehicle are ready for whatever Mother Nature sends. The following guidelines can help you prepare.

Family

  • Listen to weather forecasts regularly and heed any warnings.
  • Make sure everyone knows when and how to call 9-1-1.
  • Make sure you understand the emergency plans and expectations at your child’s school and your work.
  • Check your emergency supplies and restock outdated items. Be sure to include plenty of water and non-perishable food, first aid supplies, a battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries for both. A checklist can be found at www.TakeWinterByStorm.org.
  • If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.
  • Identify an out-of-state contact to call during a major disaster or emergency; it will be easier to call out of the area if local lines are tied up.
  • Your ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age, and older people are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold. If you are over 65 years old, place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently, and check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.
  • Monitor the weather forecast and adjust your travel plans if necessary. Know the snow routing for school buses and public transit.
  • Check on neighbors, especially anyone who might need help.
  • Subscribe to free regional alerts and news bulletins at www.rpin.org.

Home

  • Be sure you have sufficient heating fuel for emergency equipment in case the electricity is cut off (such as a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove).
  • Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. Test the batteries each month, and replace them twice a year.
  • Take steps to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use a generator indoors, in garages, or in carports. Never use a gas or charcoal grill, hibachi, or portable propane heater to cook indoors or heat your home. Avoid combustion “space heaters” unless there is an exhaust vent.
  • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze. To the extent possible, weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors and storm windows, or thermal-pane windows.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
  • Have your chimney or flue inspected each year.
  • Learn more tips for preparing your home at www.TakeWinterByStorm.org.

Vehicle

  • Make sure your vehicle is properly serviced and maintained. Ensure the electrical systems, brakes, batteries, lights, windshield wipers, antifreeze and heating and cooling systems are in good shape. Check fluid levels – antifreeze, windshield washer, and oil.
  • Keep tires properly inflated and make sure they have adequate tread. Replace any worn tires.
  • Build, or restock, a vehicle emergency kit, including flares, flashlight, extra batteries, ice scraper, tire chains, a blanket and warm clothing, sturdy shoes, first-aid supplies, water, and non-perishable food. You can find a detailed list at www.TakeWinterByStorm.org.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full; the extra gas helps reduce condensation that can plug your fuel line with ice and stall your engine in cooler weather. It also helps you avoid running out of gas if you experience long traffic delays.
  • When driving in snow, stick to major arterials. Register for road alerts at www.kingcounty.gov/roadalert and transit alerts at www.kingcounty.gov/transit.

If snow piles up and roads become hazardous, postpone your trip if possible. Staying home will keep you and others safe. If you must travel, be aware of ice hazards, especially on shaded roadways, bridges, or in high elevation areas prone to freezing.

Hypothermia is a common problem during cold winter weather, especially with young children and older adults who are most vulnerable. Symptoms include uncontrolled shivering, slow or unclear speech, extreme tiredness, stumbling, confusion, semi-consciousness, or unconsciousness. If a person becomes unconscious, get medical help immediately. To prevent hypothermia, wear warm, multi-layered clothing with good head, hand, and foot protection. Avoid overly constricting wrist bands, socks, or shoes.

King County offices will be closed on Monday, January 16 for the Martin Luther King holiday. If closures or delays are necessary due to severe winter weather, they will be posted at www.kingcounty.gov and distributed by local media.

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