Areas around Western Washington set new records for low temperatures on Friday morning as the region prepared for another dump of lowland snow. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the mountain passes.
Olympia, Seattle, Bellingham, Hoquiam and Quillayute set records for their coldest temperature on Feb. 23, according to the weather service.
The agency said the 16 degrees recorded in Olympia was the coldest for this date in the city since temperatures dipped to 20 degrees in 2005. Seattle’s 25 degrees broke the record of 27 degrees set in 2011. In Bellingham it was the coldest Feb. 23 since 1952. The reading of 19 degrees froze out the old record of 22.
Hoquiam (24 degrees) and Quillayute (22) each lowered by 3 degrees records that were set last year.
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A winter weather advisory will be in effect from 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday in the mountain passes, where 5-9 inches of snow is predicted. In a later tweet, the NWS said 6-12 inches could fall in the mountains.
“Plan on slippery road conditions,” the alert states. Reduced visibility is also a possibility for drivers.
Snow is predicted for after 10 a.m. on Friday in Tacoma, according to the NWS. Wind gusts as high as 21 mph are also in the forecast. The wind chill could make temperatures feel as cold as 19-27 degrees. Less than an inch of accumulated snow is expected before rain is predicted to join the mix Friday evening.
Olympia faces a forecast of snow after 10 a.m. with wind chill values of 13-23 degrees. Rain and snow are predicted for the evening with little to no accumulation.
Kitsap County activated its severe weather shelter plan on Friday morning. Shelters will be open through Sunday at Port Orchard United Methodist Church, Silverdale United Methodist Church and Kingston’s Village Green Community center.
At Mount Rainier, chains were required for all vehicles that didn’t have all-wheel drive and the opening of the gate to Paradise was delayed.
Crystal Mountain Resort received 3 inches of snow since Thursday morning. The Northwest Avalanche Center rates backcountry avalanche risk as “considerable” (its third-highest rating) near and above treeline for most of the Cascades and the Olympics.