Seattle weather, as well as Spokane weather, is going to take a turn for the worst, as winter storm warnings have gone into affect across the state of Washington. The local National Weather Service, as well as national affiliates, are predicting heavy snowfall is going to slam into the state of Washington, and will immediately be followed by extreme freezing temperatures. This will mark the first winter storm for the Washington area, and while some parts of the state may get less snow than others, the mountain ranges are going to see substantial amounts of snow.
With a large wet storm approaching both from the Pacific Ocean as well as Southern Canada, there will be an immediate mix of rain and snow hitting the west side of the state that could make driving hazardous throughout Friday. That will lead into snow on Friday night that could be expected to continue through the weekend, and stick around as temperatures in the western cities of Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, and Olympia see the lows drop into the teens, and stay around that area heading into next week.
In the eastern parts of Washington, especially in Okanagan County and the Spokane area, snow is expected to hit at around 3pm Pacific Time and continue deep into the weekend. Temperatures will be looking to stay right around 33 degrees on Friday night, but as early as 2pm on Saturday are looking to drop to around 21 degrees and head even further south after that. With accumulations steady through Sunday, by Sunday night and into Monday morning the temperatures will drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit. This is not taking into account wind-chill effects, which should be quite substantial with some icy winds coming through the area.
This is not good news for the state of Washington, because even if the temperature stays bearable on the west side of the state, it means that rivers will reach flood stages due to the volume of rain and snow expected. The mountain ranged are expected to get upwards of 2 feet of snow, which will be nice for the skiers out there, but will not be a positive attribute for those living in Eastern Washington. Low-lying areas are expecting 6 inches to a foot of snow, while slightly higher elevations could be looking at near blizzard type conditions. The state is probably not ready for this freak storm, after having such a warm segment of weather leading into December, and the harsh cold snap could be quite difficult for Washington residents.
Sources: West Washington Weather Predictions and Eastern Washington Weather Predictions