Weather

Warm November gives way to possibility of snow in South Sound

Fog, gusty winds, occassional hail and 37-degree temperatures greeted visitors to Capitol Peak in the Capitol State Forest on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016.
Fog, gusty winds, occassional hail and 37-degree temperatures greeted visitors to Capitol Peak in the Capitol State Forest on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. toverman@theolympian.com

A warm and wet November came to an end with the Thanksgiving leftovers, opening the door to the festivities — and even snow — of December.

The National Weather Service office in Seattle includes the words “good chance” when talking about lowland snow Monday.

Forecasters caution that snow is the hardest weather to predict in Western Washington, partly because of all the large bodies of (relatively) warm water. The right combination of cold and wet can be hard to come by.

South Sound has had plenty of the “wet” in the past two months. Olympia had almost 12 inches of rain in October, which broke the 2003 record of 10.72 inches and more than doubled the average rainfall of 4.6 inches.

November is historically the wettest month of the year, with 8.63 inches of rain for Olympia. As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, the precipitation was 0.71 of an inch above average for the month, or 9.34 inches.

While slightly above average for rainfall, November was definitely warmer than usual, said Johnny Burg, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“As far as temperatures go, November averaged 48 degrees, 4.7 degrees above normal,” Burg said. It was the second warmest November on record for Olympia. The record was 48.8 degrees in 1949.

Olympian photographer Tony Overman makes a visit to the top of Capitol Peak in the Capitol State Forest to see the wind, rain and hail that is sending November out with a roar.

The warmth is on the way out, though, with cooler air moving in late Sunday and sticking around until Wednesday, Burg said.

There’s a chance for snow at sea level in the region Sunday night, and the low in Olympia is forecast to be 32. Then Monday’s forecast suggests a “good chance for lowland snow showers if there is still moisture,” according to the weather service.

Monday’s high is forecast near 39, but temperatures are expected to drop to around 29 that night.

Tuesday continues with a slight chance of snow showers, with a high near 36.

After that, temperatures begin to rise.

“The potential is there for some lowland snow; however, confidence in the details of amount, location and timing is very low,” Burg cautioned.

“But don’t worry, there’s still lots of winter left.”

Jerre Redecker:

360-754-5422,

@jredecker

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