Many South Sound residents awoke to snow on Sunday morning.
While it’s not expected to last for long in some areas, according to the National Weather Service, temperatures will continue to dip. The latest NWS forecast predicts temperatures as low as 24 degrees in Tacoma on Sunday night, followed by lows of 22 degrees on Monday and 27 degrees on Tuesday. Wind chill could make temperatures feel as if they are 14-19 degrees.
In Thurston and parts of Lewis and Mason counties, a winter weather advisory is in effect until 4 p.m. The area could receive 1-4 inches of snow, the NWS advisory states. “Plan on difficult travel conditions, and be prepared for poor visibilities at times.”
Temperatures are expected to drop to 20 (with a wind-chill value of 13-18 degrees) on Sunday night and 18 on Monday in Olympia.
An NWS winter weather advisory that included Pierce County was issued at 10:18 a.m., although it stated the heaviest snowfall was in northern Snohomish County. It was scheduled to last until 4 p.m.
Here’s a look at other weather-related news around the region:
▪ In a 1:08 p.m. tweet, the Washington State Department of Transportation warned of severe side winds on the Tacoma Narrows bridges.
Severe Side Winds on both dirs. SR 16 near Tacoma Narrows Bridge at mp 7.— WSDOT Tacoma Traffic (@wsdot_tacoma) February 18, 2018
▪ Crews were working to remove a jackknifed semi from the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Grand Mound on Sunday, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The road has been cleared.
Vehicle recovery also underway on NB I-5 at mp 91 near Grand Mound. pic.twitter.com/2b0l6bzpkh— WSDOT Tacoma Traffic (@wsdot_tacoma) February 18, 2018
▪ Another vehicle recovery created delays on I-5 near Maytown, according to a WSDOT tweet. The work is now complete.
Big tow truck/crews pull big rig from ditch. Nice work! pic.twitter.com/mMqkZOFpLp— WSDOT Tacoma Traffic (@wsdot_tacoma) February 18, 2018
▪ Traction tires are required on White Pass and advised on Blewett, Snoqualmie and Stevens passes.
▪ Thurston County Public Health and Social Services issued a “Code Blue” Saturday to expand homeless shelter services because of the weather. The “Code Blue” is scheduled to last through Wednesday.
“This hazardous weather puts those in our community who do not have adequate shelter or heat sources at serious risk of hypothermia or even death,” said Public Health Director Schelli Slaughter in a statement released Saturday. “Activating ‘cold blue’ will allow for additional emergency shelter capacity to keep our most vulnerable populations safe, dry, and warm.”
▪ White Pass Ski Area reports it received 24 inches of fresh snow in 24 hours. Crystal Mountain’s website boasts that the resort has received more than three feet of snow since Wednesday. And the Summit at Snoqualmie says 27 inches of snow dumped on Alpental in 48 hours. At Stevens Pass, all of the ski area’s parking lots were full within an hour of opening.
▪ At Mount Rainier National Park, the road to Paradise will be closed at Longmire on Monday. All vehicles are required to carry chains.
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 tire chains. -np— MountRainierNPS (@MountRainierNPS) February 18, 2018
▪ At Olympic National Park, the road to Hurricane Ridge is closed Sunday due to snow and high winds.
▪ The Northwest Avalanche Center says avalanche risk for backcountry travel is “high” (it’s second-highest rating) on the west slopes of the Cascades and “considerable” (it’s third-highest rating) on the east slopes and in the Olympics.
▪ Puyallup Parks have reopened, Puyallup Police tweeted shortly before 11 a.m. The parks closed Saturday after wind blew down multiple trees.
▪ Wind speeds hit 134 mph at Camp Muir on Mount Rainier on Saturday afternoon. It had dropped to 28 mph at 10 a.m. Sunday.
▪ A high-surf advisory is in effect for many coastal beaches until 2 p.m.
▪ Nearly 600 Puget Sound Energy customers near Littlerock and 183 in Tenino were without power on Sunday morning. The company’s website said it was investigating the outages and had not yet posted an estimated restoration time. More than 900 customers were without power north of Olympia, but PSE’s website estimated power would be restored by noon.
▪ The snowfall is good news for the mountain snowpack. The most recent snow depth report by the Northwest Avalanche Center published Feb. 15 and showed Crystal Mountain (95 percent of normal), White Pass (66), Paradise (89), Snoqualmie Pass (83) and Stevens Pass (86) had less snow than normal. Mount Baker (111) and Hurricane Ridge (107) had more snow than normal.
Here’s a safety tip, phoned in by Captain Obvious... IT WILL FREEZE AFTER SUNSET. The roads will be icy. It will be difficult to go from point A to point B, without smashing your car directly into point B. If you must be on the roads, please slow it down and plan your route. pic.twitter.com/RN0pryPpF2— Lacey Fire (@LaceyFireDist3) February 18, 2018
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.