It was a white Christmas here and there around South Sound.
Next up: cold. Like, really cold.
Meteorologist Cliff Mass blogged Tuesday “the latest model runs are suggesting a much colder period next week, one that would be far colder than we have seen in many years.”
The National Weather Service office in Seattle agrees.
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“Confidence is increasing that there will be modified arctic air ... likely preceded by some snow late New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day,” according to the long-term forecast Tuesday. It continues, “This is starting to look like it could be the start of quite a significant winter weather event ... (one that has not been seen since December 2008).”
What happened in the Seattle area in 2008? Cold bookended the year.
At the beginning of the year, the longest cold spell was Jan. 14-Feb. 7 with 25 consecutive days of cooler-than-average low temperatures.
But, according to weatherspark.com, the coldest day was near the end of 2008, Dec. 20, with a low of 16 degrees. There was snow on the ground for 16 days, Dec. 13-28, 2008, with the deepest snow of 5.2 inches Dec. 22, according to weatherspark.com.
For 2016-17, the fun begins with possible snow Saturday night, New Year’s Eve.
The predicted cold spell begins Sunday night — New Year’s Day night — with lows in the 20s and a high struggling to reach 32 degrees Monday.
Lows fall into the low 20s Monday night, and Tuesday’s “high” is forecast for a mere 28 degrees.
If that isn’t enough to send a chill up your spine, the cold is forecast to stick around. The 8-14 day outlook is for 90 percent chance of colder-than-normal temperatures.
As for the snow, some models are suggesting lowland snow as early as late Saturday night, but more likely into the day and night Sunday, according to the Tuesday long-term forecast from the weather service.
Amounts in the lowlands look to be about an inch or so, but “the prevailing message is to stay tuned,” according to the weather service.