Still more wind, rain, snow to come


by and Wire Reports

Posted on November 19, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 20 at 8:14 AM

SEATTLE -- Power crews are standing at the ready for the possibility of more trees toppling over in the wind, knocking down power lines Thursday night and into Friday.

KING 5 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Renner says winds will increase again Thursday, but shouldn't be as bad as Wednesday night. He expects 15-25 mph sustained winds over Puget Sound, and possibly 20-35 mph from Everett north. Higher gusts are possible.

He says, winds should begin easing before midnight, but rain is expected to pick up overnight, but changing to showers by the morning hours.

More snow in the mountains above 4,000 feet. On Friday afternoon, 5 to 12 more inches of snow could fall in the mountains.

As of Thursday night, Seattle was the only area reporting outages, with some 200 customers in the dark. Meanwhile, Puget Sound Energy crews are resting up for weather predicted Thursday evening and Friday. Additional crews are being brought in anticipation of outages.

Almost 9,000 Grays Harbor PUD customers were without power Thursday evening, including Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City, Copalis Beach, Pacific Beach, Copalis Crossing, Moclips, Taholah, and Bernard Creek.

As of Thursday afternoon, flood warnings remained in effect for the Bogachiel, Skokomish and Satsop rivers. Flood watches are in effect until Saturday morning for Grays Harbor, Clallam, Jefferson, Lewis and Thurston counties.

A winter storm warning for heavy snow is in effect for the Olympic Mountains and the west slopes of the Cascades. Renner expects snow in the Cascades to rise to 4,000 to 5,000 feet Friday before falling back to 2,000 in the afternoon with heavy snow showers.

Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass was closed Thursday afternoon for avalanche control. Washington State Department of Transportation crews say the early snow meant dealing with at least five spin outs along the highway. Conditions were bad enough that traction tires or chains were required for more than half the day.

"Carrying 50,000 pounds, that's a lot of weight to pull and it's a lot of weight pushing on you when you're going downhill, so the chains really do make a big difference," said truck driver Gary Pierce.

Traction tires are also required Stevens Pass. Traction tires are advised at White and Blewett passes.

For Jason Perkizas and his season ski pass, it's great news that the season's starting in mid-November.

"Got some new skis this year, so wanted to get up as soon as possible," said Perkizas.