Forecasters are pretty sure snow will fall Thursday in Olympia. But how much and how long it will stick around, is, well, up in the air.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the Olympia area that takes effect Thursday afternoon and lasts through early Friday.
Snow is expected to fall during that time and could result in as much as 4 inches accumulating. Earlier forecasts predicted the snow would begin early Thursday.
The Hood Canal could see up to 7 inches.
“The situation is more threatening than Monday, since we will have cooler and drier air in place and the amount of precipitation is greater,” Cliff Mass, a University of Washington meteorologist, wrote on his blog.
Forecasts have snow starting about 2 p.m. Thursday in Olympia. Snow is possible over 12 hours, the Weather Service said.
Forecasters said Thursday will see a high of 36 degrees, dropping to 26 at night and rising to 42 Friday.
After Thursday, rain is forecast through Sunday.
On Mount Rainier, Paradise is on tap for 7 to 11 inches Thursday (with winds gusting to 36 mph), 12 to 18 inches overnight Thursday, and another 8 to 12 inches Friday.
“It is expected that by Friday morning, the transition from snow to rain will have occurred everywhere,” according to the winter storm watch.
That weather would be significantly different from what it was on the same day last year. On Dec. 8, 2015, the record high was 60 degrees and record rainfall topped 2 inches.
On Wednesday, the skies were clear but very cold. Forecasters said temperatures were about 10 degrees below normal. With the wind chill factor, it was 19 degrees at Sea-Tac Airport about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday. Bellingham was 12 degrees.
Overnight Tuesday, the region also broke the longest stretch on record of not experiencing sub-freezing temperatures. It was the first time in 332 days that it was below freezing.