Tim Pfahl finishes shoveling his long driveway for the third time this week on Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Tim Pfahl finishes shoveling his long driveway for the third time this week on Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

New Year’s thaw, rain should wash away snow; ice may linger

After days of temperatures well below freezing, Snohomish County will likely warm into the 40s by Sunday.

MARYSVILLE — Despite more snow on the ground Thursday morning, the worst of a winter cold spell is behind us.

Streets and lawns from Marysville to Monroe were pelted with 3 to 5 inches of new snow Wednesday night and Thursday morning, said Carly Kovacik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. Southern parts of the county, like Edmonds and Lynnwood, saw more like 2 to 3 inches.

Everett had already been hit with as much as 7 inches.

Forecasts show minimal incoming snow in Snohomish County through the weekend, however. There could be a narrow band, but that wouldn’t be much. And there’s a chance another weather system Saturday morning could put under an inch of snow on the ground. Rain is then in the forecast for Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

It could still take a few days for the existing snow and ice to melt as high temperatures hover around freezing on New Year’s Eve. Those will rise through the weekend, peaking with temperatures in the 40s Sunday.

Any melting Thursday and Friday would likely refreeze overnight, as lows were still predicted to be in the low 20s, Kovacik said. That means continued slick conditions on local roads. Just because drivers can see the pavement doesn’t mean it’s dry, she noted.

Cars drive southbound along a clear I-5 on Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Cars drive southbound along a clear I-5 on Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Snohomish County Public Works crews have plowed over 50,000 miles of county roads since the weekend.

There’ll likely be a “decent amount of melting” Sunday with the higher temperatures, Kovacik said. She predicted most of the snow would be gone early next week.

Since the Christmas holiday, demand for Snohomish County cold weather shelters has risen. The number of occupied beds jumped from the 50s to nearly 150 as unsheltered residents looked for a warm respite. There are shelters in Everett, Monroe, Snohomish and south county.

Worries over a lack of shelter in the northern parts of the county resulted in a Marysville church opening its doors Wednesday at 8240 64th St NE. Generations Community Church housed three people Wednesday night, pastor Craig Laughlin said. With capacity to serve up to 50 between two rooms, Laughlin expects more to show up through the weekend as word gets out that the church is an option.

The church is seeking volunteers. If interested, contact Laughlin at pastorcraig@generationscommunity.org.

Twins Ella Rose Pogorely and Anna Grace Pogorely, 2, inspect the snow at Lighthouse Park on Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Twins Ella Rose Pogorely and Anna Grace Pogorely, 2, inspect the snow at Lighthouse Park on Thursday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Meanwhile, fire officials were “very, very busy” dealing with burst water pipes, said Leslie Hynes, a spokesperson for South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue. Freezing water can expand and rupture pipes. This usually happens when the water begins to thaw.

The fire department suggests calling 911 if water gets near electrical outlets or panels, or if water threatens a pilot light or power to a water heater or furnace. If pipes burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve and call a plumber.

Community Transit buses were on snow routes Thursday. Some routes were canceled.

And garbage pickup for much of the county continued to be postponed as collectors waited for conditions to improve.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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