Snowmageddon to become Slushmageddon? Fourth snowstorm could quickly switch to rain

A fourth snowstorm is set to come barreling through Puget Sound Monday, but it may be bringing rain and sleet on its heels.

Forecasters estimate another 1 to 2 inches of snow fell in most places overnight and another inch or so is possible Monday before warmer air sweeps in at night.

Warmer temperatures means a likely switch from snow to rain, though the National Weather Service said it is uncertain which area will receive snow and which will receive rain. The further south you are, the more likely you’ll get a snow break.

Cliff Mass, a meteorologist at the University of Washington, said people should brace for Slushmageddon to replace Snowmageddon.

If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that “Tuesday morning you will wake up to a slushy mess,” he wrote in his blog.

Roads remain icy and Pierce County crews said they were temporarily switching from plowing roads to dealing with drainage systems as the ice started to melt and flooded roads early Monday.

Most schools districts opted to close again, as well as Pierce County libraries and Metro Parks Tacoma facilities like Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, all four community centers and Meadow Park Golf Course.

It has already snowed more than 19.1 inches at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport since the start of February, making it the snowiest month in 50 years and one of the five snowiest months since records began being kept in 1981.

Just on Monday, Sea-Tac Airport got 5.1 inches of snow.

The snowiest month ever was in January 1950 with 57.2 inches, according to Weather Service records.

About 22.5 inches of powder was recorded in Snoqualmie Pass Monday morning. On Mount Rainier, winds were gusting 100 mph and temperatures hovered around minus-5 degrees, dropping the temperature at 10,000-foot Camp Muir to -47.

The park will not open the gate from Longmire to Paradise Monday due to winter conditions.

In the Tacoma and Seattle area, Monday morning temps were in the 20s.

Sunday morning was chillier and broke at least two daily cold records.

Sea-Tac Airport’s low was 21, breaking the daily record from 1982 when it was 24 degrees. Olympia’s low was 5, beating the 1982 record of 15.

Monday could warm up to 36 degrees, though the wind chill is closer to 23. It’s usually 50 degrees on this date, the Weather Service said.

A winter weather advisory remains in place through Monday, warning that up to 3 inches of snow could fall before the afternoon commute. By 6 p.m., it could turn to rain.

Tuesday could bring more rain and winds gusting up to 24 mph.

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Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.