Seattle Snow, Storms to Return to the West

January 15, 2012; 3:20 PM ET
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The storm track and cold air are heading south in the West starting this weekend, and Seattle will be one of the first receivers of the return to winter.

Respectable cold air is now firmly entrenched over much of southern Canada and is now poised to make lunges into the northern U.S. moving forward this winter.

One such push is advancing southward into the Northwest this weekend.

Although far from a powerhouse storm and crushing snow producer that it was over Alaska, the system will bring at least a half a foot to a foot of snow in the Cascades and even slippery spots down to sea level around Puget Sound.

According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, "The hills around Seattle can even pick up an inch or two this weekend."

Roads and sidewalks could be slippery by Sunday morning in the region, especially on the hills. Snowflakes may be seen around Portland.

You have to go back to the middle of November to find any trace of snow around Seattle this season. There hasn't been any snow spotted around Portland.

Not only has snow been scarce in recent weeks along the Pacific coast from Washington to California, but major storms have been non-existent.

A change in the pattern is unfolding, thanks to cold air setting up shop along the U.S./Canada border.

Another storm is due to come calling Monday night into Wednesday. That storm could bring heavy precipitation (rain and snow) to the Northwest from the coast to areas east of the Cascades. More storms are likely to follow.

The shift in cold air will allow storms to frequent the Northern states from west to east.

Indications are storms will roll in from the Pacific as far south as northern California in the weeks ahead, with hopes of bringing substantial precipitation to interior areas of the West from the Sierra Nevada to the Wasatch and northern and central Rockies.

Storms will eventually reach the Midwest and East with much greater frequency compared to the period back to late December.

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