While snow on Christmas isn’t unusual in Eastern Washington, the National Weather Service says residents of Western Washington may get a Christmas surprise this year.
The National Weather Service reports snow is possible for much of Western Washington today. The weather service says some areas could see several inches pile up. In other places, snow will be mixed with rain and temperatures will be too warm for any snow to accumulate.
Residents in the Hood Canal area – including Shelton, Belfair, Brinnon, Seabeck and Hoodsport – can expect larger amounts of snowfall that could continue through this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
“They could look at 5 to 10 inches possible, with higher amounts closer to the Olympic mountains,” said meteorologist Johnny Burg.
“People who are planning to travel should be aware there could be snow and it could create some hazardous driving conditions.”
The weather service predicted early morning snow for parts of Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor and Jefferson counties, especially in higher elevations.
“Some places could see up to 3 or 5 inches possible,” said Burg. “Some amounts could be locally higher in places that are above 500 feet.”
U.S. Highway 2 is closed between Stevens Pass and Leavenworth as transportation workers deal with numerous snow-laden trees bent over the roadways.
Transportation spokesman Jeff Adamson said Monday there’s no estimate for when that section of highway will reopen.
It has been closed since Saturday night when a vehicle slammed into a fallen tree about 22 miles west of Leavenworth, injuring five people, some seriously.
He says crews are hoping for a break in the weather, but more snow is expected this week.
Drivers can reach the Stevens Pass ski area from the west side but not from the east side.
The weather service issued a winter storm watch for the state’s southwest interior and lower Chehalis Valley through this afternoon. Among the areas that could likely see 3 to 5 inches of snowfall: Montesano, Elma, McCleary, Pe Ell and Rochester.
The snow isn’t expected to stick around for very long.
Wednesday’s forecast calls for more rain showers with a high of 44 degrees.