Here is a look at snow accumulations from Thursday morning through early Friday morning. This does not include totals for the next system arriving Friday night into Saturday. More will be on the way. (National Weather Service Seattle)

Here is a look at snow accumulations from Thursday morning through early Friday morning. This does not include totals for the next system arriving Friday night into Saturday. More will be on the way. (National Weather Service Seattle)

Baby, it’s going to get cold — and snowy? — out there

Below-freezing temps are expected the next few days. Odds are good that Snohomish County will get snow.

EVERETT — Costco shoppers on sunny Wednesday morning were buying more bouquets of flowers than buckets of ice melt at the Lynnwood store.

This might change Thursday when cold weather blasts in.

“Bundle up if you’re headed out,” said Jacob DeFlitch, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Western Washington was expected to get a stormy one-two punch starting Thursday, with cold wind in the Everett area, temperatures dropping to the mid-20s and possibly a dusting of snow.

“The bulk of the moisture will be to the south of Seattle,” DeFlitch said.

The second punch could dump 3 or 4 inches of snow on Friday and Saturday in the lowlands of Snohomish and Island counties, with more at higher elevations.

“There’s uncertainty with this system because it’s farther out,” DeFlitch said.

Temps are likely to stay in the 20s for several days. Good luck trying to find ice melt then.

The region has dodged much in the way of snowfall so far this winter, with only half of an inch of snow.

This is the cold snap some have been waiting for and others have been dreading.

There are no plans to close mass vaccination sites in Snohomish County, but that might change with the forecast.

Check with the airport for flight delays and cancellations due to weather.

Make sure cars are equipped with ice scrapers and fueled up.

David Bisom, a Costco gas station attendant, stayed busy Wednesday helping people at the pumps and offering optimism.

“We’re not going to get snowmageddon. Maybe a couple little drops,” Bisom said. “The weather people will talk about it. We’re tough. We’ll get through it.”

While most people put on snowsuits, Brian McCleary and his Whidbey Island friends will wear swimsuits.

He swims in open water year-round. Without a wetsuit. He and other swimmers, some in wetsuits, intend to do their usual half-mile in the sea on Friday afternoon.

Snow is a plus.

“That makes it even better,” McCleary said.

People who aren’t used to submerging in 45-degree water are advised to dress warmly from toes to head while outside to avoid frostbite.

UW Medicine pediatrician Dr. Beth Ebel of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center stressed safety during snow sports.

“The first thing to remember is that half of winter injuries are head injuries,” Ebel said in a news release. “So if there’s one thing that I would ask everybody is to wear a helmet for all of those sports where it’s appropriate.”

That goes for sledding, skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

She added that winter sports and alcohol do not mix.

Have that hot toddy inside by the fire.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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