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Freezing Rain Poised to Glaze Parts of Puget Sound on Tuesday



[WBHG News 24 – Kirkland, WA] – Seattle temperatures rose above freezing for the first time in 89 hours on Monday, but a sloppy weather system is poised to bring snow, sleet, and freezing rain to the Puget Sound lowlands on Tuesday night.

During the evening commute, precipitation will arrive in Puget Sound, rapidly spreading. From Tacoma north, expect snow and sleet before a transition to freezing rain and rain.

Focusing on our forecast area of eastern Puget Sound – Kirkland, Bellevue, Bothell, Kenmore, Redmond, and Woodinville – snow will be falling across the entire region by 7 PM. Up to 1/2 an inch of wet accumulation is possible before the transition begins. Higher hills and along the King-Snohomish County line may see a little more.

Between 8 PM and 10 PM on Tuesday, the snow and sleet will transition to freezing rain and rain. Up to 1/10 of an inch of accumulation is possible on the east side of central Puget Sound, but there is a lot of disagreement in the forecast models. We’re forecasting a transition between 1 AM and 3 AM on Wednesday morning, but keeping an eye on the situation.

The center of Seattle will have a mostly rain event, with the line between rain and a period of freezing rain roughly in the middle of Lake Washington. Kenmore and Northgate will also be in the area of freezing rain. If you’re driving east from Seattle on I-90, you may enter the tunnel on Mercer Island with it raining and exit the other side into freezing rain!

The Euro, which is the best model for predicting winter weather in our area is forecasting a transition between 5 AM and 7 AM. If this model is correct, the Wednesday morning commute will be even more challenging.

You should put off any travel on Tuesday after the evening commute, especially during the overnight hours. Low traffic and convective cooling will accelerate ice build-up on ramps, bridges, and side roads. If you have to drive, give yourself plenty of extra time, route around hills, leave extra room between you and other vehicles, and plan ahead as you approach traffic lights and stop signs.

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