Seattle buried by biggest snowstorm in 2 years this weekend

By Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather meteorologist
February 09, 2019, 5:21:03 PM EST

For the latest information on the record cold and more snow that is following this snowstorm, please visit this news story.




Another round of burying snow is sweeping across the Seattle metro area and the balance of the Pacific Northwest through Saturday.

This latest round of snowy weather follows a winter storm that unleashed 3-8 inches of snow in the Seattle area early this past week.

The storm to start this weekend has brought the heaviest snowfall to hit the Seattle area in two years. A total of 7.9 inches of snow was reported at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The last snowstorm of that magnitude slammed Seattle in early February 2017, when 7.1 inches of snow fell at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Travel disruptions are mounting in the area as the snowstorm unfolds.

Keep track of how much snow is predicted in your area by downloading the free AccuWeather app.

NW Sat 2.9 AM


Travel could be difficult to impossible across parts of the Interstate-5 corridor, including Siskiyou Summit in Oregon.

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"While an excessive amount of snow is not expected over the northern Cascades, a foot of snow may fall on Snoqualmie Pass, Washington," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

NW snow map 2.9 AM


Snow has returned to some lower elevations of Oregon with several inches reported in Portland. Even the coastal locations of Washington, Oregon and Northern California may get another round of light snow.

"Much heavier snow is likely over the northern Sierra Nevada, where 2-4 feet of snow is likely on top of the 7-13 feet of snow the area received recently," Sosnowski said.

Travel may be difficult to impossible over Donner Summit, California, along I-80 at the height of the storm. Motorists should check on the situation before venturing out on their journey.

It is not rare for snow to fall in Seattle during the winter months, but it is rare to have two separate storms bring high amounts of snow over a short period of time. Typically, Seattle receives two to three snow events a year, or about 7 inches of snow annually. However, this can vary from little or no snow in some years to more than a foot in snowier winters.

seattle annual snow


This storm will move out of the area later this weekend. However, the Northwest may not escape the cold and risk for more wintry weather.

Temperatures could challenge record lows in the wake of the snow. Records may fall on both Saturday night and Sunday night across the region, including in both Portland, Oregon and Seattle.

“Another winter storm is likely to set its sights on the Northwest again by Sunday night,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.

NW Snow Sunday night


To add more insult to injury, yet another storm will spread snow and a wintry mix across the Northwest, including the coastal areas of Washington and Oregon from Monday to Tuesday.

NW Monday Tuesday


The series of winter storms may have schools shut down into the middle of next week with a big negative blow to commence in the region. Hundreds of thousands may have to resort to working at home as opposed to attempting to drive on snow-packed and icy roads.

Few things reflect the power of nature and weather like avalanches. Host Regina Miller talks to Director, Mark Staples of the Utah Avalanche Center, and Dan Burnett, Group Mission Coordinator for the Summit County Rescue Group in Breckenridge, Colorado. They discuss recent deaths on the slopes, the weather situations that can contribute to an avalanche, the dangers of human interaction, and how best to survive.

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