SEATTLE - Light snow fell in several areas of Western Washington on Sunday, mainly north of Seattle, as warm, moist air began to move into the area.
A light dusting covered Marysville, Bellingham, Lynden and Blaine.
The State Patrol reported a number of collisions in the Marysville area due to slick roads. Trooper Keith Leary said there were 34 crashes in a five-hour period. Leary said traveling too fast for road conditions and following too closely were the main reasons for the collisions.
KING 5 Meteorologist Jeff Renner said the main focus for snowfall the remainder of the afternoon would be along or north of a line extending from Edmonds to Lynnwood and along or south of a line extending roughly from Federal Way to Auburn.
Not much was expected in either area, generally an inch or two at most, and in some areas nothing, said Renner.
"Westerly winds moving over the Olympics are creating a rain shadow over most of the Seattle metro area," said Renner.
Sunday night, the potential for snow was expected to diminish south of Seattle, with the focus shifting to the area north of the city of Seattle.
"The best chance for snow beyond a few flurries will range from Edmonds and Lynnwood north, plus the eastern parts of Snohomish and King counties, along or near the Cascade foothills," said Renner.
Accumulations will range from nothing measurable to two inches at most. Expect lows in the mid-20s to near 30.
"On Monday, a few light snow or rain showers are possible in the morning, but in the afternoon, as warmer, more moist air glides up and over the thinning cold air mass remaining over the inland parts of Western Washington, precipitation could begin as snow before changing to rain," said Renner.
This initial burst of snow is most likely over the Kitsap Peninsula and Hood Canal (between two to eight inches possible in spots) and over Whatcom County (up to two inches).
Highs will range from the mid 30s to near 40.
By Tuesday morning we'll be looking at rain showers.
More snow in the mountains, E. Wash.
A winter storm watch is in effect from Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon for the Olympics, the Cascades and passes. Up to 12 inches of new snow are possible.
In Eastern Washington, expect snow showers and accumulation of about an inch overnight into Monday.
A Winter Weather Watch will be in effect from 4 p.m. Monday through 10 p.m. Tuesday for Eastern Washington and North Idaho. A two-part storm will bring the threat of widespread heavy snow to the Inland Northwest. Between four and seven inches are possible.
On Tuesday afternoon warm air will push in from the south, changing snow to rain south of Interstate 90.
For the greater Portland area, expect mainly rain, with the snow level rising to 1,000 feet.
Long lines at tire stores
The threat of snow prompted plenty of people to rush to some stores to switch out their tires for winter conditions.
At the Les Schwab store in Mount Vernon, employees were run ragged trying to keep up with demand.
"With the threat of snow in the forecast, we get busier," said store assistant manager Chris Malick.
"I understand it's going to be snowing and I want to be prepared," said customer Rose Gonzalez, who was getting studded tires put on. "When there is ice, it definitely makes me more confident."
Even if you don't get tires put on for this storm, Malick suggests checking your tires to make sure they are fully inflated. It will help with traction in inclement conditions.
Beware of ice-covered ponds, lakes
Eastside Fire and Rescue, serving communities in east King County, is warning residents to be careful about playing on ice-covered ponds or small lakes during the current cold snap.
Overnight temperatures in Western Washington have uncharacteristically dipped into the teens and even single digits this week. But Eastside spokeswoman Josie Williams warns that's no reason to assume ice in the area is safe to walk on.
She notes that a layer of ice is seldom frozen evenly and can be a foot thick in one spot and less than an inch thick in another. And she says falling through ice into frigid water can easily be fatal.
Cold weather preparations
King County offers the following steps to prepare for cold weather conditions:
- Keep cold weather clothing in your vehicle for road emergencies and extra blankets in your car and home.
- Fill your car’s gas tank and keep it at least half full at all times to avoid running out of gas due to unexpected weather-related traffic conditions.
- Wrap or insulate pipes and outdoor faucets to prevent them from freezing.
- Assemble an emergency supply kit for your home, car and work or school, with water and non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, first aid and hygiene supplies.
- Don’t forget about your pet’s needs. Sheltering pets from wind and moisture is very important. Wind chill affects pets just like people. Very young and older pets are most susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. When the temperature drops, make sure pets can go to a warm space, out of the elements.
Visit www.takewinterbystorm.org for an emergency preparedness checklist and other helpful information.