EVERETT — It might be time to brush up on your long-dormant winter driving skills.
Snow is falling in the lowlands of Western Washington this week, and it’s likely to stick — at least for a little while. A steep drop in temperatures will accompany the snowfall, said Dana Felton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Felton said on Monday a weather system was predicted to deliver a mass of cool air to Everett starting Tuesday night. Low-lying areas could see an accumulation of 1 to 3 inches of snow, Felton said.
His predictions came true a little early as snow began to fall across western Snohomish County on Tuesday morning. A winter weather advisory for Everett and the surrounding lowlands went into effect Tuesday at 1 p.m. and is set to run through Wednesday afternoon. The National Weather Service updated its forecast early Tuesday, saying 2 to 4 inches of snow accumulation is possible starting around 4 p.m.
Not to be outdone by a little precipitation, strong winds are predicted, too. Yet another weather advisory for the Everett region will run Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday morning, warning of wind speeds up to 30 miles per hour and gusts of 50 near the water. Similar wind conditions are predicted further inland, including Monroe and Darrington.
The inland portion of the county is under a winter storm warning through Wednesday. Up to 2 feet of snow could accumulate in the mountains, and valley dwellers can expect 6 to 12 inches, according to the warning. Those areas might get snow through the rest of the week, Felton said, though temperatures nearer the coast will most likely warm up enough to see a change to rain late Tuesday or Wednesday.
Lowland residents shouldn’t get their hopes up for a rapid snow departure, though — rain could give way to snow off and on from Thursday to Friday, Felton said. Then there’s a possibility of even more snow going into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service’s predictions.
Temperatures will hover around freezing for most of the week, with highs of 40 degrees predicted, Felton said. Nighttime lows of 30 degrees may drop even further to the mid 20s later in the week, and wind chill could lower temperatures 5 degrees or more.
Stevens Pass on U.S. 2 remained open as of Tuesday morning, but the state Department of Transportation reported packed snow and ice on the roadway and advised using traction tires. Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 was seeing less snow, but traction tires are required due to ice.
Felton said much of Snohomish County can expect to see this cycle of cold weather and precipitation repeat itself until at least February. A La Niña weather pattern is likely to create wetter-than-normal conditions for the rest of the winter. What’s less predictable is how much more snow to brace for.
“Anytime we get snow in these lowlands of Western Washington, it’s unusual, maybe only a couple of events a year,” Felton said. “We really can’t say anything for sure about ongoing snowstorms. This could be the only one, or we could see a few more.”
School closures and delays for Tuesday, Nov. 29
Arlington School District: All evening activities including sporting events and practices are canceled. This includes facility use. Buses will operate on normal routes this afternoon. The Arlington Boys and Girls Club after-school care will operate as scheduled.
Everett Community College: Campus closing early. No offices, classes or activities open after 2 p.m.
Lake Stevens School District: No afternoon preschool. After-school and evening community facility use and community athletics are canceled. No student activity buses tonight.
Lakewood School District: All after-school activities, athletic competitions, practices and facility uses are canceled.
Marysville School District: Evening activities canceled. No afternoon preschool. Afternoon buses on snow routes. 21st Century After-school Program canceled.
Monroe School District: Salem Woods Elementary is closed Tuesday due to a heating system malfunction. All other Monroe schools are unaffected.
Northshore Christian Academy, Everett: All afternoon and evening activities are canceled. Campus is closing at 4 p.m., including ELC. Normal dismissal procedures.
Snohomish School District: Afternoon buses on snow routes. Schools will dismiss at normal times. All after-school practices, events and activities in district schools and buildings have been canceled.
Stanwood-Camano School District: No afternoon preschool.
Sultan School District: No out-of-district transportation for the R.A.P. Program, Sno-Isle Skills Center and Pathfinder. No afternoon preschool or after-school activities. Afternoon buses will run on snow routes.
Story will be updated.