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Is lowland snow in our future?

Is lowland snow in our future? (KOMO Photo)

After seeing some wet snowflakes in the lowlands this weekend, we're asking the question: what's the outlook for lowland snow the rest of the winter?

Lowland snow can happen generally once or twice year, but it really just varies. By lowland snow, I'm referring to areas below North Bend, the foothills and plateaus. In those slightly higher elevations, snow is much more common throughout the winter. Meanwhile, many years in the lowland areas we get an inch or less with some years getting nothing. We have the best likelihood for seeing snowflakes between December and February. However, there are certainly exceptions to this. For example, we can see snow in Bellingham as early as Halloween, and even experience some wet snowflakes due to that classic convergence zone as late as April!

As for the rest of the winter season, we'll likely be dealing with an El Niño pattern. That means the western section of the U.S. could see above-average temperatures for the next three months. In fact, the Pacific Northwest has the best chance of seeing warmer-than-average temperatures January through March. As for precipitation, the outlook isn't too good for snow. An El Niño pattern tends to bring wetter-than-average weather to the southern states, leaving the Pacific Northwest drier-than-average.

Bottom line, chances aren't necessarily good for lowland snow this season, but it certainly doesn't mean we can rule it out altogether - not by any stretch. These three-month forecasts are just estimates and are very subject to change.

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