Winter’s coldest weather so far may bring some snow with it

  • Thu Jan 12th, 2012 8:37pm
  • News

By Eric Stevick Herald Writer

EVERETT — What’s predicted to be the coldest weather so far this winter could bring snow to the region by Sunday and early next week.

Overnight lows likely will fall below freezing beginning Saturday night and stay that way into Tuesday.

Snow is a possibility.

“We are not forecasting any accumulations at this point,” National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis D’Amico said Thursday. “It’s still too uncertain. I think people need to keep it on their radar as they make plans for the (Martin Luther King Jr.) holiday weekend.”

Snow showers could hit some areas and miss others, the weather service reported. Any snow also could be mixed with rain. It’s also too early to forecast where and how much snow might fall.

Public works crews in area cities were preparing Thursday in case snow hits close to home.

“Any time there is even a thought of snow in anyone’s mind, we start getting things ready,” Everett city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said. “At a moment’s notice, we will have our trucks loaded and ready to go.”

Another weather system is forecast to arrive Monday from the west. It has the potential to bring more widespread snow to lowlands before turning to rain.

“It looks like it will stay cool at least through Tuesday,” D’Amico said.

Travel across mountain passes likely will be affected Saturday night through Tuesday.

If it does snow, law enforcement and public works officials hope people think twice before driving.

“We’d say, ‘If there is an accumulation and you don’t have to drive, don’t drive,’ ” Reardon said.

Washington State Patrol trooper Keith Leary offered several tips for driving in the snow.

He said drivers should accelerate slowly and warned that jamming on the brakes will cause them to lose control of their cars.

Drivers also should allow plenty of distance between themselves and the car ahead and bring emergency gear such as warm clothing, flares, tire chains and cat litter or sand for traction.

A common mistake is over-correcting on ice. Leary said drivers should stay calm, take their foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid.

“If you find yourself having to venture out in potentially snow- and ice-covered roads, be prepared and don’t expect to get where you are going in the same amount of time as if you were on a dry road,” Leary said. “You will need to leave extra time and have a lot of patience.”

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