Winter storm blankets Western Washington with snow, high winds
A winter storm blanketed Western Washington on Monday with several inches of snow, cold temperatures and bone-chilling winds. A lot of snow fell overnight, particularly from Seattle to Bellingham. And the snow continues to fall in parts of the region. Kirby Cook, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, joined Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick to talk about the latest weather updates.
Cook said the heaviest snow is falling up north.
“We still have snow falling, really, through the metro area of King County northward,” he said. “The heaviest snow is in western Snohomish County and western Skagit County.”
And areas north of Redmond got as much as 10-12 inches of snow, Cook added.
“We should see the snow tapering off as we get into the afternoon,” he said. “Conditions will be challenging out there through the day. Temperatures are going to stay cold, so the snow’s not going to go anywhere.”
Cook said the snow could stick around as late as Thursday, despite a drier forecast the next couple days.
An update from the National Weather Service early Monday said rough commuting conditions will persist through Tuesday. Cold temperatures mean no melting and refreezing overnight.
The north interior will see strong winds, according to the report, including gusts up to 60 mph and wind-chill values in the single digits. The rest of Western Washington will see chills in the 20s.
Cold, dry weather will persist through Wednesday, and another cold system could bring more lowland snow Thursday or Friday.
Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma, Bellingham, Bremerton and Port Angeles schools are all closed. Districts with a late start Monday include Olympia, Aberdeen and Hoquiam. This is not a complete list, so listeners should check with their individual district for updates.
For up-to-date information on Seattle road conditions, visit seattle.gov.
UPDATE, 5:40 p.m.: Seattle schools have already announced a two-hour delay for Tuesday, a day after most classes were canceled across the region.
Officials with the National Weather Service say light snow is still possible this evening, but additional accumulation will be less than an inch. Roads are expected to remain slick into the morning hours.
“We’re not going to have a big warm-up anytime soon,” said meteorologist Gary Schneider. “So the problem of ice in the morning and overnight will be with us for the next few days.”
Tacoma and Seattle will see highs in the mid-30s over the next several days, but overnight lows will dip below freezing. Drivers should use extreme caution on both this evening's commute and tomorrow morning.
Adding to the disruptions, Bloodworks Northwest says it had a high number of donor cancellations.
“There are going to be more accidents and that could increase the need for blood, which means we’re like a hamster running on a treadmill, trying to get more donors in the door,” said Larry Shaw, director of community engagement. “But even without those additional accidents, every day that there are surgeries planned or people that are getting transfusions — those folks need blood every day. There’s no such thing as a snow day for our local patients.”
This story is developing. Check back for updates.