White Christmas might hinge on technicality

Posted on December 22nd, 2021 By:

Gig Harborites are apt to miss a white Christmas by that much.

Chances are that snow will fall on Dec. 25, but it won’t be a white Christmas because that’s technically 1 inch on the ground in the morning, said warning coordination meteorologist Reid Wolcott of the National Weather Service in Seattle. For the Gig Harbor area, there’s about a 65% chance of flakes in the sky during the day Saturday, but only 20% odds of them accumulating on the ground, he said.

After that, there’s no doubt it will become frigid and snow, but details are up in the air.

“Chances (of snowfall) start increasing as you go into Saturday night and on into next week,” Wolcott said. “There’s a 50-50 shot at seeing at least 2 inches daily starting on Sunday. There’s also a fairly decent shot that we get an inch or less those days, or 3 or 4 inches.

“The bottom line is prepare for snow. Right now we’re not seeing a strong signal of big bursts of snow, but it’s something we’re going to be on the lookout for.”

Beginning Sunday, high temperatures will struggle to break freezing, and lows will dip into the lower 20s.

“It looks like it will continue well into next week,” Wolcott said. “There’s no strong signal of it ending at any point, so probably through next week it will remain very cold. How much (snow) and when and where are remaining questions. It’s out too far to have any answers.”

Any snow that falls on untreated surfaces won’t melt during the cold spell, so be prepared for icy roads, not just snow-covered roads, he said.

Now would be a good time to prepare for the first big freeze of the season. Outside, disconnect the hoses, cover faucets and exposed pipes, drain sprinkler lines, protect sensitive plants, bring pets indoors if possible. If not, make sure they have a place to stay warm, and unfrozen water. Drag a warm coat, hat and mittens out of the back of the closet. Put a windshield scraper, kitty litter and maybe even a shovel in the car. Make a run to the grocery store.