Snow, snow, go away: Familiar rain returns to Seattle on Monday night
It was raining in Seattle on Monday night.
That’s not usually news. It is this time.
Following a historic winter storm that has already made this month the city’s snowiest February since 1949 according to Accuweather, Seattle was dealing with more familiar weather on Monday night, though life won’t immediately return to normal.
Seattle Public Schools, the University of Washington, Seattle Community Colleges have all canceled classes for Tuesday, along with several other school districts in the metropolitan area, the Seattle Times reported. Nearly 100,000 households were without power in six counties as of 9:55 p.m. PST, including 37,828 in King County, where Seattle is located, according to PowerOutage.US.
Air travel was scuttled, too. A Federal Aviation Administration “ground stop” at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport remained in effect for about four hours on Monday night. There had been 405 cancellations and 271 flight delays on Monday, according to FlightAware.com.
The SeaTac airport has already received 20.2 inches of snow this month, a startling total for an area that averages less than an inch each February.
The snow’s impact was worsened by a prolonged stretch of temperatures in the 20s and 30s, with wind chills into the teens – also unusual for the Emerald City.
“You’ve got storm after storm sliding down the sweet spot to produce low-level snow,” said Kirby Cook, a meteorologist at Seattle’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration office. He described weather systems pulling cold air from Canada and combining it with moist air pulled east from the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s really rare for us to maintain this pattern,” Cook said.
The forecast for Seattle will normalize over the coming days, according to Accuweather. A mix of rain and snow, with temperatures into the low 40s, are forecast for Tuesday. Following a projected break in wet weather on Wednesday, Seattle will see rain on Thursday and Friday with highs in the low- to mid-40s.
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