Today is cold by Seatttle standards (about freezing), and it is cloudy, but the sun is shining like a golden orb through the clouds and some flakes of snow are falling from the sky although the ground is still dry. We don’t get many days like this in Seattle, especially during Christmas week, and it is pretty. Yesterday was flat out clear and cold, and tomorrow is supposed to have some light snow then light rain.
In my lifetime there have been very few white Christmases. In 1983 they forecasted heavy snow but it came in as heavy rain instead, in 1990 we already had a lot of snow (a foot or more) by Seattle standards and it dumped another 6 inches early Christmas morning (i.e. overnight between Christmas Eve and Christmas), 1996 it snowed a *lot* the day after Christmas, 1997 it snowed Christmas Eve morning but melted by afternoon, and 2008 we had some residual snow from the previous week’s fairly heavy snows.
In my lifetime, most heavy snow periods last 1 to 5 days maximum. For example, in 1980 it snowed a lot on Monday and Tuesday, was clear and cold Wednesday and Thursday, and rained on Friday. That is pretty typical for Seattle’s so-called snowstorms. If I remember correctly, the years where we’ve had snow stick around for more than a week was the 1985 pre-Thanksgiving storm(s) that lasted over 2.5 weeks, the 1990 pre-Christmas storm that lasted from December 18th until about New Year’s, and the 2008 storm(s) that started in Mid-December and lasted until just after Christmas. That is about it.
Most Seattle heavy snows aren’t really forecasted until last minute — they’ll say for a few dasys “this storm is going to miss us but we might get a little snow” then the day of or day before they’ll modify it to, “Oh wait, the storm is sliding farther north/sout than we thought and we’re going to have heavy snow.” The 1990 storm they copletely misforecast (“maybe an inch or two” became a foot with high winds and freezing temperatures). In 1996 they forecasted heavy snow north of us for several days until 12 hours before the next wave hit they changed the forecast to heavy snow with the high temperature before dawn – that was fun!