The South Puget Sound area could see wind gusts as strong as 45 mph on Saturday, according to a wind advisory issued Saturday morning by the National Weather Service.
The advisory is scheduled to be in effect from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the strongest winds forecast for this afternoon. The NWS advisory lists Tacoma, Shelton, McCleary, Seattle and Bremerton as locations that could be affected.
The report says southerly winds will increase to 20-35 mph with gusts near 45 mph. Residents should be prepared for snapped tree branches and power outages, the NWS states. The agency’s statement also advises, “Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.”
In the mountain passes, snow was making travel difficult on Saturday morning. As of 8 a.m., chains were required on all vehicles that don’t have all-wheel drive on Snoqualmie and Stevens passes. On White Pass, traction tires were required. Oversized vehicles are prohibited on all of the passes.
An avalanche warning was issued Saturday by the Northwest Avalanche Center. The forecast — which is for backcountry travel and does not apply to primary roads and controlled terrain at ski resorts — rates avalanche risk as “high” (the second highest rating) throughout the cascades.
Mount Rainier will keep closed the gate to Paradise because of weather-related road conditions. The road is open as far as Longmire.
The gate to Paradise at Longmire will remain closed today due to weather-related road conditions. The road is open to Longmire. All vehicles are required to carry— MountRainierNPS (@MountRainierNPS) February 17, 2018
tire chains. – jc
Hurricane Ridge is open in Olympic National Park. The park warns to drive slowly and expect 30 feet of visibility at the top. All vehicle are required to carry chains.
February 17 @ 9:45 am. Hurricane Ridge Road is open. 30 ft. visibility near top. Drive slowly. Wind gusts as high as 30 mph and snow. May close early today. All vehicles traveling to the ridge in winter, including 4 wheel drive, are required to carry tire chains.— Hurricane Ridge NPS (@HRWinterAccess) February 17, 2018
In Olympia, the National Weather Service predicts lows of 19 degrees on Monday and 24 on Tuesday. Tacoma could be warmer: 21 on Monday and 27 on Tuesday.
In a Thursday morning tweet, the NWS stated that Seattle’s record lows for Feb. 20 (25 degrees in 1955) and Feb. 21 (25 degrees in 1957) could be broken. Seattle hasn’t set a record low in seven years.
On Tuesday, Seattle’s NWS office tweeted it’s 3-month weather forecast and included a tip: “If you are a lowlander & have summer tires on your vehicle, you might want to consider changing them.”