Gusty winds, rain and cold temps on tap | Weather

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Gusty winds, rain and cold temps on tap
Gusty winds, rain and cold temps on tap

A stormy and unsettled March weekend is underway, and it's just going to get rougher from here. Cooler air is around the corner, snow levels are about to drop, and a big wind storm will wrap up the weekend Sunday night into Monday morning.

The latest winter storm moved in on Saturday night. bringing steady rain to the Sound and heavy snow back to the mountains.  A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in place for the Cascades and Olympics through Sunday afternoon, as another 7 to 14" of new snow is expected in the high country.  There is an AVALANCHE WARNING in place again, too.

The rain will give way to showers and sunbreaks on Sunday, but those showers will be chilly...highs will only top out in the low to middle 40s, and some of the showers in the foothills could include the occasional burst of wet snow.

A good-sized March wind storm is due in late Sunday night and into Monday morning.  With the tightly wound up area of low pressure approaching, winds at the coast will likely gust between 50 and 70 mph on either side of midnight.  East gusts in the Cascade foothills may blow up to 55 mph Sunday night as the low closes in. We'll see winds howling around Admiralty Inlet and the Northwest Interior early Monday morning, with gusts between 45 and 60 mph north of Everett and toward the Canadian border.  A HIGH WIND WATCH is already up in these areas to highlight these likely strong winds, and as the forecast becomes more certain, we'll likely see that WATCH become a High Wind WARNING.

Rain will be heavy at times as this front rolls through, and the snow level will come down to 1000'.  The mountains will see very heavy snow and gusty winds on Monday, with blizzard-like driving conditions over the passes.  Highs around the Sound will be in the low 40s, which is about 10 degrees below average for mid-March.

Tuesday will be chilly and damp, with occasional lowland snow showers.  Highs on Tuesday will be in the low 40s, and it should be the coldest day in a string of cold days during the week to come.

Wednesday through Saturday will be cold and wet, with highs only in the low to middle 40s every day.  New disturbances moving around an upper trough of low pressure will make 'rain-at-times' a solid bet right through the end of the week.

So much for that touch of spring a few days ago...winter is definitely still in charge here in Western Washington!

Meteorologist Shannon O'Donnell
The KOMO4 Forecast Team