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Up to 4 inches of snow could join Thursday’s commute

A Pierce County truck with a snowplow heads down the Key Peninsula Highway in Home on Wednesday as temperatures drop and snow is in the forecast.
A Pierce County truck with a snowplow heads down the Key Peninsula Highway in Home on Wednesday as temperatures drop and snow is in the forecast. dmontesino@thenewstribune.com

Snow will give an encore Thursday in Western Washington, and this time it might stick around.

The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued a winter storm advisory from early Thursday to early Friday, warning that up to 4 inches of snow could fall.

The Hood Canal could see up to 7 inches.

“The situation is more threatening than Monday, since we will have cooler and drier air in place and the amount of precipitation is greater,” Cliff Mass, a University of Washington meteorologist, wrote on his blog.

He initially estimated that snow would reach the Seattle metro about 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, but later said models predicted the snow wouldn’t show up until evening.

“So the Thursday PM Seattle commute may be OK,” Mass wrote.

Snow is possible during a 12-hour period, the Weather Service said.

Forecasters said Thursday will be a bit warmer, with a high of 38, dropping to 33 at night and rising to 44 degrees Friday with 17 mph winds.

Powder might be expected to fall in the lowlands, and it will be dumping in the mountains.

On Mount Rainier, Paradise is on tap for 7 to 11 inches Thursday (with winds gusting to 36 mph), 12 to 18 inches overnight Thursday, and another 8 to 12 inches Friday.

“It is expected that by Friday morning, the transition from snow to rain will have occurred everywhere,” according to the winter storm watch.

That weather would be significantly different than it was on the same day last year, when the South Sound saw record warmth and rain.

On Dec. 8, 2015, the record high was 60 degrees and record rainfall topped 2 inches.

“And this year, well, considerably different,” the Weather Service tweeted.

On Wednesday, the skies were clear but cold. Very cold. Forecasters said temperatures were about 10 degrees below normal.

With the wind chill factor, it was 19 degrees at Sea-Tac Airport about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday. Bellingham was 12 degrees.

Overnight Tuesday, the region broke the longest stretch on record of not experiencing sub-freezing temperatures. It was the first time in 332 days that it was below freezing.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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