The emerging cherry blossoms will be disheveled by a strong spring weather system on Sunday as winds from the south grow in front of a cold front that is said to bring rain and mountain snow.
The National Weather Service in Seattle issued a winter storm warning for the central Cascade Mountains. 8 to 12 inches of snow is expected today, and the potential for more if a zone of convergence is created over Stevens Pass.
Winds associated with the weather system – 25 to 35 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 50 – could be strong enough to damage branches and cause localized power outages, the forecasters warned. The strongest winds are expected on the coast, over the northern inland waters and in the western Whatcom and Skagit counties, forecasters said in their update early Sunday morning.
Storm warnings are in effect in much of the area until Monday morning.
After the storm front, which should move through the region from late Sunday morning, the winds are expected to turn west and isolated thunderstorms are possible. These could bring small hailstones, lightning strikes and heavy local rain, and be particularly severe in the convergence zone that could develop over parts of Counties Snohomish and King this afternoon.
The weather is expected to calm down on Monday and warmer temperatures, perhaps up to 60 degrees on Wednesday, under sunny skies.