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Mountain snow, lowland rain in store for western Washington Thursday

KOMO-TV Seattle 12/8/2022 KOMO News Staff
© Provided by KOMO-TV Seattle

A weather system will bring mountain snow, gusty winds and widespread lowland rain to western Washington on Thursday.

Another chance for lowland snow showers is still in the mix for parts of western Washington Friday and into the weekend.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for areas of the Cascades from Whatcom to Lewis counties above 1,500 feet until 4 p.m. Thursday. The advisory was originally scheduled to expire at 10 a.m. but was extended.

The National Weather Service said additional snow accumulation of up to 2 inches was possible at the passes, with up to 5 inches possible at higher elevations - Mount Baker and Paradise.

The advisory includes Stevens and Snoqualmie passes.

RELATED: Western Washington forecast

Heavy mountain snow impacted travel over Snoqualmie Pass on Thursday. Both directions of the interstate were closed for hours due to multiple crashes and spinouts. All lanes of the roadway were open by 12:25 p.m. 

Photos shared by the WSDOT from the scene of the crash show multiple semi-trucks “entangled” on westbound I-90.

The department said crews had to repair “several” sections of the concrete barrier that were damaged in the crash and pushed into the eastbound lanes. The crash was “due to speed because the roadway was bare and wet at the time it occurred,” the WSDOT said.

 Click here to check current mountain pass conditions.

As a puddle of cold air slides into the region Thursday night, the chance of lowland snow showers returns by Friday morning.

The foothills stand the best chance of picking up a minor snow accumulation. Areas from Carbonado north through Carnation, and along the Canadian border in Whatcom County could wake up to an inch of new snow by Friday morning, according to KOMO News Meteorologist Kristin Clark.

The next potential of snow at sea level targets Hood Canal and the higher hilltops of the Kitsap Peninsula Friday night, where 2-4 inches could accumulate before changing over to rain Saturday morning.

For the most part, Clark said the lowlands get by with just rain. The next soaking is expected to arrive Friday afternoon from an incoming cold front.

The mountain ski areas will make out big as a foot of snow will blanket the slopes into the weekend. Showers will gradually taper to an end Sunday morning in time for the Seahawks to take the field.

A spell of dry weather awaits next week as temperatures take a nosedive. Clark said daytime highs could stay in the 30s for an extended period of time.

The Washington State Patrol shared the following tips for driving in the snow and slush:

  • Increase your following distance
  • Avoid unnecessary lane changes
  • Allow windows to properly defrost before driving
  • Keep fuel tank at least half full
  • Drive with headlights on to increase visibility
  • If conditions get so bad you can’t keep going, make every effort to move your vehicle off the road

Stay with KOMO News for the latest on the storm by downloading our app and submit your weather photos on Chime-In.

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