10:00 AM UPDATE: There are still reports of moderate to heavy snow along the Hood Canal and on higher hills around the peninsula, including Silverdale, which has amounted to nearly 4”. Why is the snow continuing? The predicted south wind changed course and took a south westerly turn. It has therefore become more difficult for the snow to change over. For all those sick of the snow, we WILL switch over to rain, but it is going to take a little longer than expected. Stay tuned for further updates as they come!
7:00 AM UPDATE: The (deadly) warmer south wind has kicked in and temperatures are slowly on the rise. Several Kitsap locations are now reporting snow changing to rain. Most western Kitsap neighborhood’s are still reporting moderate snow, so if you are planning to travel out towards the Hood Canal, proceed with caution! Again, everything should start winding down by 8 am.
5:32 AM (Wednesday, Dec. 19) UPDATE: It appears most everyone is seeing sticking snow this morning. I’m hearing reports of heavy, wet snow all across the peninsula with some school districts closing as a result. It is very possible we exceed the predicted 1-2” for many locations. Please take it easy on the roads as continued snow is expected until at least 8 am before we warm up and most everything turns to rain. In the meantime, send pictures if you have them! It’s a beautiful one out there**
The past 48 hours have certainly been anything but easy in the forecasting world. Here are some brief highlights:
- Gusty winds (exceeding 35 mph) Sunday night into Monday raced through places like Bremerton and Port Orchard, while many other Kitsap locations came away with literally no wind.
- Moderate, wet snow fell in great abundance along the Hood Canal (some areas receiving close to a foot) Saturday and Sunday, while several other Kitsap communities experienced rain/snow showers or cold rain.
- Yet more snow fell on the peninsula early this morning with a wide range of accumulations, from 2” as far west as Seabeck to a trace as far east as Bainbridge Island.
This has been another episode of “Crazy Microclimates”, brought to you by the Kitsap Peninsula! If there’s one thing I’ve learned while living on the Kitsap Peninsula, it’s the necessity to prepare for anything.
I was talking to a friend and fellow weather enthusiast from Bainbridge Island last night, and we discussed how close we were to a potentially historic Kitsap snowstorm. Within the past 72 hours, the rain gauge picked up 2.24”. However, most of that rain was in the middle of straddling 34-36 degree weather. Think of the possibilities: If we were just a couple degrees colder, we could have been measuring snow in feet, even at sea level. And quite easily, we could’ve experienced record snow of “Day After Tomorrow” proportions (OK, that part was a little dramatic…). As a weather geek, it makes me sick to think we were so close.
Anyway, what is in the past will stay in the past. As we look forward to the future, however, we have another weather wrestling match to participate in, and this time there will likely be more competitors. We haven’t escaped the mid 30s all day, and what little clearing we have will only serve to pull the temperature down a few notches before our next weather system moves onshore. As is usually the case, the Kitsap Peninsula tends to hoard cold air longer than most other Western Washington locations, thanks to the Olympic Mountains, so we may have a messy commute tomorrow morning. The following map presents the worst case scenario:
As the front moves in, the precipitation (and there will be quite a bit of it) will likely start out as snow for most Kitsap locations, granted temperatures remain near freezing. By the time most of you get up for school and work, there could be a sloppy inch or two on the ground with locally higher amounts on area hills. Of course, the jackpot in this situation will, once again, be the locations hugging the Hood Canal/Olympic Mountains. Snow projections show as much as 6” of wet snow in places like Hoodsport/Brinnon with perhaps as much as 4” in the Seabeck/Holly area.
If there’s one thing I’m confident about, it’s the warm up. It may take a few hours, but by late morning even the Hood Canal area should transition to rain/snow or plain rain. It’s a shame the snow couldn’t last until Christmas, but at least it’s a pretty reminder of the holidays.
Looking ahead, we don’t exactly warm up. In fact, we may face a few more wet snow scenarios Thursday before all is said and done. Right now, the remainder of this week and next week look fairly seasonable, with highs in the low 40s under rainy skies. It’s not looking like a White Christmas this year, but it’s not like many of us were expecting that, right? 😉
Stay tuned, though, because even if we can’t manage a White Christmas, there’s a chance we actually skate by dry. We’ll see! For now, stay safe out there and have a great rest of the day!
Questions? Comments? Photos? E-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org