SEATTLE -- A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for most of Washington state as accumulating snow is expected Thursday afternoon and evening.
Q13 Meteorologist M.J. McDermott says everyone (except the coast) will see some snow on Thursday, but temperatures will warm up and it will eventually turn to rain for most.
The Q13 Weather Team is tracking the conditions 24/7. Meteorologist Walter Kelley says the highest impact for snow will be Hood Canal, the Olympia area and the mountains. This looks like all will see at least a half-inch of snow -- but those in Kitsap and Mason counties will see much more.
The Winter Storm Watch is in effect from 7 a.m. Thursday through 7 a.m. Friday.
Forecasters say the precipitation will begin in the afternoon as snow, then turn to rain -- earlier in the south end and later in the north. Up to 12 hours of snow is possible in the Hood Canal area, Kelley said.
"This (snow) event is really for Hood Canal and the mountains, too," Kelley said.
"Cold and icy for the morning commute," Kelley said. "Snow arrives at Lewis County around 2 p.m. Thurston/Mason/Pierce counties around 3 p.m. King County in the evening. Whatcom County late Thursday night."
Kelley said those along the I-5 corridor should not expect to see much snow, perhaps an inch, while high hills will get maybe 2 inches and foothills above 1,000 feet will receive 3-5 inches. Hood Canal will get hit the worst, with 6 or more inches. The mountains will get 2 feet or more of snow from Thursday night through Sunday, which could result in traffic delays and closures this weekend of the mountain passes.
M.J. and Adam are timing out the snow and tracking your Thursday afternoon commute:
Here's a detailed breakdown of the forecast from Q13 Meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson:
Thursday: Increasing clouds with increasing east wind. Cascade foothills will be windy with easterlies 25-35mph and gusts 40-50mph.
Incoming precipitation begins in the South Sound mid to late afternoon and moves northward toward Bellingham through evening.
The higher amounts of snow are expected over Hood Canal and Kitsap County with lesser amounts in the foothills due to east wind. The coast will not accumulate much, if any snow, but almost all other areas will have snow that transitions to rain Friday morning. During the transition period there is a chance of sleet and freezing rain, which becomes more likely in southwest Washington near Vancouver and the mouth of the Gorge.
Friday: The morning hours will be a transition of wet snow to rain. Rain at times and breezy wind continue with highs near 40°.
Saturday-Tuesday: Periods of rain and rain showers, except potential snow showers near the Canadian border and Whatcom, Skagit and Clallam counties Sunday and Monday morning. Seattle highs in the upper 30s.