A pedestrian navigates a slushy sidewalk along Rucker Avenue on Monday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A pedestrian navigates a slushy sidewalk along Rucker Avenue on Monday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Overnight snow, rain close many Snohomish County schools

Edmonds, Mukilteo, Lake Stevens, Snohomish, Sultan and Monroe schools closed Monday due to bad road conditions.

EVERETT — Unexpected snow and torrential rain overnight in Snohomish County led to the closure of many schools Monday.

Paine Field in Everett got 1 to 3 inches of snow, while towns along U.S. 2 likely got between 6 and 12 inches, said meteorologist Maddie Kristell of the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The cold and showery pattern is forecast to continue for much of the week. High temperatures are predicted to be in the high 30s to mid 40s, with overnight lows in the 30s. Tuesday night could get back to near freezing.

Eastern Snohomish County was under a winter storm warning until 3 p.m. Monday. The National Weather Service then issued a winter weather advisory for 10 p.m. until 10 a.m. Tuesday, saying there could be 1 to 3 more inches of snow in the Cascades. Avalanche danger was high in the Cascades, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center.

The state Department of Transportation completed some avalanche control work at Stevens Pass on Monday morning. But a vehicle without chains spun out, forcing the agency to keep the pass closed longer than desired. Chains were required on all vehicles, except those with all-wheel drive.

People can check mountain conditions and requirements on WSDOT’s website.

In the lowlands, the wet conditions could clog drains and result in ponding on some roads, Kristell said.

She said the slush can be just as slick as the ice.

“I would still treat the roads as fairly hazardous,” Kristell said.

A car sprays water as it drives down Olympic Boulevard on Monday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A car sprays water as it drives down Olympic Boulevard on Monday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The bad road conditions closed many local schools that had been planning to come back from winter break Monday. Edmonds, Mukilteo, Lake Stevens, Snohomish, Sultan and Monroe schools were closed.

Many of those districts announced two-hour delays Sunday, but the unanticipated snowfall forced them to close for the day. Everett and Marysville had two-hour delays.

Snohomish County isn’t out of the woods yet. Another weather system from the Gulf of Alaska could bring more precipitation this week, Kristell said. It could be rain or snow, depending on temperatures. It has the chance to bring another 1 to 3 inches of snow, she said, noting that was an early prediction subject to change.

The area probably won’t be seeing much dryness until the weekend.

On top of the slush, the Lake Stevens School District reported low staffing levels in schools and transportation due to COVID-19. The fast-spreading omicron variant has resulted in the highest recorded COVID levels in the county since the pandemic began. From Dec. 19 to Dec. 25, over 2,700 cases were recorded in Snohomish County, hundreds of cases higher than the peaks over the summer.

If class was in session Monday, Lake Stevens schools would have been down 19 teachers, 10 bus drivers and 11 para-educators without any replacements, district spokesperson Jayme Taylor wrote in an email.

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

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