Freezing rain in forecast for end of week

Posted on December 21st, 2022 By:

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the region for Thursday and Friday, Dec. 22 and 23.

The Gig Harbor area might get a little snow Thursday, but that’s not the real risk. More dangerous is the potential for freezing rain late Thursday and early Friday.

“The highest chances for the Puget Sound metro area will be between 4-10am FRI (aka the morning commute). Freezing rain is even more dangerous than snow!” The weather service’s Seattle office Tweeted.

Atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass wrote on his blog that “a major freezing rain event” is in store for the region “with Friday morning being particularly problematic.”

Snow is likely earlier Thursday, possibly mixed with freezing rain. But after 10 p.m. Thursday, things could get ugly. New ice accumulation of one-tenth of an inch to 1 inch is forecast for Thursday night, with more possible on Friday.

The National Weather Service forecast for Gig Harbor this week.

The overnight low is predicted in the low 20s. Friday will be warmer, but a brisk breeze should keep the wind chill factor in the 20s.

Those traveling for the holidays on Thursday or Friday should expect to encounter icy roads. The Washington Department of Transportation warned drivers to allow extra time for their travels, pack tire chains and emergency supplies, and leave extra distance between themselves and the car ahead.

The pain isn’t likely to lead to a White Christmas, however. Forecasters expect warmer temperatures, with highs in the 40s and 50s, for Christmas Day.