A white Christmas for some, wet and windy for others

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on December 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 26 at 11:35 AM

Some areas of Western Washington were seeing a white Christmas, but for most, it was a wet and windy one.

"An approaching front is spreading increasing rain or wet snow into Western Washington this morning," said KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott. "Snow levels are near 1,500-2,000 feet this morning, but cooler and drier air near the ground will initially allow wet snow to reach to sea level in some areas."

Any lowland snow is expected to turn to rain by afternoon, forecasters say. The hardest hit area could be along the Hood Canal with 5 to 10 inches possible, even a foot in isolated spots.

It will be locally windy as well, with the Cascade Foothills seeing easterly wind gusts of up to 50 mph throughout Christmas day.

"Gusty winds will develop near the Cascade foothills today with wind gusts to 50 mph diminishing later this afternoon," said Marriott.

Marriott says brief accumulations of a trace to 1" of wet snow are possible, especially several miles away from Puget Sound and maybe up to 3" on hills above 300-400' mainly west of Puget Sound. 3-6" are possible near the Hood Canal and western Kitsap Peninsula with larger amounts along the east slopes of the Olympics along the Hood Canal.

Calls went out Christmas Eve to road and power crews, putting them on standby as a wintry mix of weather looked to blow in, bringing the chance of snow to the lowlands, the chance of a foot of snow to parts of the Southwest Interior, and windy conditions in the foothills. Check the Futurecast

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn tweeted the reality of the forecast for his SDOT workers. "Everyone loves a white Christmas, but I hope the SDOT crews get off work in time to unwrap presents w family," the tweet posted around 7:30 p.m. said.

The National Weather Service in Seattle issued a slew of warnings, watches and advisories. One forecaster summed it all up: "Lowland snow on Xmas: A joy for some, a pain for others."

Check the latest traffic conditions anytime with the Seattle Traffic App and weather with the Seattle Weather App.

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