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Here's why most of King County, farther south didn't get much snow

As the front dropped into Puget Sound it produced south winds with warmer air that just made it to Everett and turned the snow to rain along the Sound.
Credit: KING
A look at where snow and rain fell across western Washington on Dec. 20, 2022.

SEATTLE — With a Winter Storm Warning in place overnight through Tuesday, much of western Washington expected to wake up to snow on the ground Tuesday. But not everyone did. 

That's mainly due to warmer air that made it all the way north to Everett early Tuesday. Here's a detailed look at how parts of western Washington ended with multiple inches of snow, while other areas got little to no accumulation.

Sunday night into Monday we had cold air cover most of the interior of western Washington with frigid air pouring into Whatcom and San Juan counties from the Fraser River Canyon. Some of this colder air worked its way down the Sound. Meanwhile, we had mild air along the coast. This set up a huge temperature contrast across the state as a front brought in moisture from the northwest.

Tuesday morning as precipitation moved in, it was 10 degrees with a wind chill of -4 in Ferndale near the Canadian border while it was 48 in Ilwaco at the southwest corner of the state.

Credit: KING 5
A look at how temperatures varied across western Washington on Dec. 20, 2022.

As the front dropped into Puget Sound it produced south winds that pushed the warmer air up from the south and southwest. These winds just made it to Everett and turned the snow to rain along the Sound and over much of the Kitsap Peninsula. Tacoma warmed up to 41 degrees for a while.

However, as the front moves southeast through the area Tuesday, the southerly winds will stop and turn back to northerly, pulling the cold air south again and dropping the snow line southward. 

The snow line could make it all the way to Olympia later on Tuesday. But even though the snow level is falling back to near sea level the moisture from the front is almost over. We are not expecting much additional snow, generally from only a trace to 1 inch during the day.

The cold air stays in place Wednesday for another chilly day with mainly snow flurries and highs in the upper 20s and low 30s. Whatcom County will be even colder with highs in the upper teens and low 20. A chance of snow returns on Thursday afternoon.  

Download the KING 5 app to check the interactive radar near you, as well as the latest forecast, cameras and current conditions.

Check the latest forecast here.

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