A little snow in forecast, then a big thaw

EVERETT — The 40s are coming. The 40s are coming.

At least that’s what forecasters from the National Weather Service in Seattle are predicting for Wednesday as temperatures begin climbing after a prolonged cold snap.

Between now and then, snow and freezing drizzle are possible.

“There could be up to 2 inches tops but you might not see anything” in the Everett area through Tuesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Josh Smith said.

The high in Everett has been stuck below freezing since Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. It has been a week since temperatures in Snohomish County reached the 40s. The low during that stretch was 18 degrees on Friday.

All of which could result in some heftier utility bills as people turn up their thermostats to combat the cold.

The Snohomish County PUD on Monday reported six straight days of power consumption above normal peak demand. The biggest spike occurred on Sunday night.

During the cold snap, “we are about 13 percent above where we would normally be in terms of energy demand,” Snohomish County PUD spokesman Neil Neuroutsos said.

It has been three years since there has been a similar stretch of power demand.

Utility crews are getting ready in the event of snow or icy precipitation.

“What we are concerned about is if we have freezing rain and ice storms how they weigh down power lines,” Neuroutsos said. “We are definitely monitoring all the weather reports.”

The cold snap has been a boon for plumbers. Broken pipes have been reported across Snohomish County.

In Mukilteo, for instance, there were several reports of burst pipes, including one on Sunday at the Mukilteo Police Department.

Snohomish County Fire District 1 in the south county had 43 reports of broken pipes on Saturday and Sunday. There were 30 on Sunday alone.

More could be in store.

“We typically will see more when things start to thaw,” Fire District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said.

Hynes warned that people should never try to thaw frozen pipes with a blow torch or other open flame.

A few years ago, someone ended up setting fire to insulation while trying to thaw a pipe beneath his mobile home, she said.

The forecast for Everett calls for a chance of rain or snow Tuesday with a high of 34 degrees.

Wednesday should reach the low 40s under mostly cloudy skies.

Rain is expected to return by Thursday.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

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