'Unrelenting pattern' dumps more heavy snow on Seattle, northwestern US

By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
February 13, 2019, 10:20:28 AM EST


Schools and universities were closed across Washington state on Monday and some into Tuesday, as winter storms continued pummeling the Northwest. Seattle's metro area has already been hit by three snowstorms in February, making it the snowiest month in Seattle in more than 50 years.

The snowiest month on record was January 1950 when the region received 57.2 inches.

While this month may become Seattle’s snowiest February on record, as it stands with a total of 20.2 inches about one third of the way through, their snowiest February on record was in 1916 when they received 21.5 inches, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards.

So while it has been very snowy, it is not necessarily unheard of in terms of the Seattle area, Edwards said.

Records at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport go back to only 1944. Previous records for downtown Seattle go back to 1894.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Gina Nakamura skis past a nearly life-size snow sculpture of an orca whale as downtown is just visible in a light snow Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

As the snow-covered city is seen behind, Cami Marinella tosses a snowball toward her friend Andre Santana from atop the open-air observation deck of the Space Needle, Monday, Feb. 11, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A sledder moves aside as traffic heads downhill in heavy snow falling Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A pedestrian walks near the Amazon Spheres as snow falls Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in downtown Seattle, Washington.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Howard Garton, who wears a fin on his back and hails as "OrcaMan," races his personal water craft past a Washington state ferry in Elliott Bay Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A snowflake lands on Joshua Blau's eye as he tries to catch them in his mouth while heavy snow falls Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Pedestrians walk near Pike Place Market as snow falls Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in downtown Seattle, Washington.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Pedestrians share an umbrella as heavy snow falls Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle, Washington.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Snow falls around the statue of Seattle Mariners' legend Ken Griffey Jr., Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in front of T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Tracks are left in a still snow-covered and otherwise unused parking lot Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle, Washington.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A group of friends explores near a nearly life-sized snow sculpture of a sea lion Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Condo owners Suzanne Wittmann, right, and Jennifer Stock clear the sidewalk in front of their building following several more inches of snow that fell overnight Monday, Feb. 11, in Seattle.

Elaine Thompson

Pedestrians cross a deserted street as heavy snow falls Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Streets, homes and cars remain snow-covered on one of Seattle's steeper hills, Queen Anne, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

(Photo/Washington State Trooper Rick Johnson)

Heavy snow closed a stretch of Interstate 90 in Washington state near mile marker 34 on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The driver of a semitractor-trailer that got stuck in deep, melting snow in a residential neighborhood tries to dig it out with a shovel borrowed from neighbor Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Kyle Piehowski shovels heavy, wet snow off of the roof of a business that was beginning to flood inside after water was caught under melting snow on the flat roof Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A U.S. Postal Service vehicle maneuvers up a street turning to slush Tuesday morning, Feb. 12, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A pedestrian crosses a street where a foot or so of snow is turning to slush Tuesday morning, Feb. 12, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

As snow turns to rain, Tricia Axtell skis around Seattle's Green Lake Park Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Seattle.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Pedestrians huddle under umbrellas in the rain as they walk over snow around Seattle's Green Lake Park Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Seattle.


A storm on Sunday night dropped another 2 inches of snow around the city while another 6 inches accumulated on Monday, Feb. 11.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm on Friday, Feb. 8. Inslee warned the state’s residents to avoid driving in what could be one of the most intense snowstorms the state has had in some time.

“Everyone in our state needs to focus on preparing for the snow and staying safe,” Inslee said in a statement Friday. “Weather forecasters predict this may be a storm unlike one we’ve seen in many years. I encourage everyone to stay off the roads if possible and plan ahead if you must travel.”

snowfall abnormalities Seattle


On Monday, Inslee expanded the current emergency proclamation to include certain exemptions for commercial drivers delivering runway deicer and wing deicer to facilities and airports throughout the state.

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Travel delays and disruptions have been reported throughout the affected regions, with numerous roads having been reported closed.

"Another rough day pretty much everywhere. Please continue to be cautious - slow down - as you're likely to find snow, ice, slush or some combination pretty much anywhere you go," the Washington State Department of Transportation said in a tweet on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 345 flights were canceled and 245 were delayed as of 5 p.m. PST Monday, according to FlightAware.


Heavy snow in the region is causing downed trees and power lines, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Nearly 80,000 Puget Sound Energy customers were out of power as of Tuesday morning, mostly around Bainbridge Island and Olympia. Crews work to restore power in treacherous conditions.

As of Monday night, there were 114 outages across the Seattle City Light service territory, impacting 28,000 customers. The company has since restored power to many of the affected customers, with about 10,000 customers still affected Tuesday morning.

"If you're one of our customers impacted by tonight's outages, know that we'll continue to work as safely and quickly as possible to restore power," Seattle City Light said in a tweet.

Over 30,000 total customers remain without power in western Washington as of Tuesday night.


A few accidents and injuries have also been reported due to the event. An elderly man was seriously injured when he was trapped under an awning that collapsed at his home near Sequim, Washington, Monday morning.

Seattle Public Schools remain closed Tuesday, and district headquarters will have limited services, according to a statement from the district.

The University of Washington and Seattle Colleges also canceled Tuesday classes at all of their campuses.

Snow will continue to target Pendleton, Oregon, and Yakima and Spokane, Washington, into Tuesday night. Mostly rain is in store for Portland, Oregon, for Tuesday. However, in the the hilly areas around the city, and on occasion in town, snow will mix in at times.

It is not rare for snow to fall in Seattle during the winter months, but it is rare to have multiple storms bring high amounts of snow over a short period of time.

The region has been stuck in a pattern, where there is a high located over the Gulf of Alaska, causing these systems to keep diving into the Northwest and the Pacific Northwest.

“It's bringing these rounds of snow and cold air. It's just cold enough that we're going to snow in Seattle,” Edwards said. “It's just been an unrelenting pattern.”

The Northwest will likely continue to be locked into this snowy pattern for at at least another week to possibly a week and a half.

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