EVERETT — Authorities are urging people to plan ahead, as Arctic winds will soon bring unusually frigid temperatures and snow to Western Washington.
On Saturday, rain could turn into a rain-snow mix, then into snow in the evening.
After that, conditions should be drier, and chances for extra snow should be minimal. But starting Sunday, it may not get above freezing for several days, with some spots possibly seeing single digit temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.
Another system could move through toward the end of next week, bringing with it more moisture, and another potential round of snow.
Cold weather shelters
Snohomish County’s five cold weather shelters generally open when overnight temperatures are projected to dip below 34 degrees. If weather varies across the region, some shelters could be open while others remain closed.
County officials update their online listing daily to reflect which shelters are opening their doors: bit.ly/3FFfl1P
Those aged 12 to 17 looking for shelter should call Cocoon House at
Everett family cold weather shelter
5126 S 2nd Ave.
Intake: 4 to 8 p.m.
Everett cold weather shelter
2624 Rockefeller Ave.
Intake: 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Snohomish cold weather shelter
210 Ave. B, Snohomish
Intake: 8 to 10 p.m.
South County cold weather shelter
If you have transportation, call
Van pickup schedule: 7 p.m. at Lynnwood City Hall, 7:05 p.m. at Lynnwood’s Trinity Lutheran Church, 7:20 p.m. at the Value Village sign west of Highway 99
Van schedule shifted two hours later on Wednesday nights
Volunteers are still needed to run this shelter. Shifts run 6:30 to 9 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. Interested volunteers should contact Reina Hibbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monroe cold weather shelter
1012 W Main Street
Intake: 8 to 10 p.m.
Emergency day warming center open Dec. 25
College Place Middle School, 7501 208th Street SW, Lynnwood
Brace for holiday traffic
Drivers should prepare for snowy and icy roads, especially in the mountain passes.
Travelers should bring an emergency car kit with batteries and a flashlight, blankets, boots, a first-aid kit, food, gloves and water. Before leaving, the state Department of Transportation encourages checking tires and filling the gas tank or car battery.
WSDOT travel charts for U.S. 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass project heavy congestion eastbound on morning to early afternoon Friday and Saturday. The worst eastbound congestion is expected in the morning to mid-afternoon Sunday and Monday. Real-time travel data can be found at bit.ly/3FowUTx or by checking the WSDOT app.
Westbound U.S. 2 traffic is projected to be heaviest through the early afternoon Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Staffing shortages could cause delays in clearing the roads. The state uses 500 plows and dump trucks to manage 20,000 miles of lanes.
The state prioritizes heavily used highways and segments with intersections, ramps, sharp curves or steep hills. WSDOT’s highest priorities in Snohomish County are interstates 5 and 405, U.S. 2 and highways 9 and 522.
Locally, Snohomish County Public Works maintains about 1,650 miles of roads. A map of its routes that includes information about which have been treated is at bit.ly/3einKft.
Other cities publish plow route maps and plans as well. Check with your local jurisdiction.
Drivers should not pass plows, whose operators may not see passing vehicles. Plowed ice and snow could go either direction, causing obstructions, and possibly crashes.
Travelers hoping to catch a ferry could be in for longer waits than past years’ holidays, as staffing shortages and vessel maintenance has hampered the fleet. That includes one-boat service for the Mukilteo-Clinton and Edmonds-Kingston routes.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday are expected to be busy for ferry traffic. Washington State Ferries encourages avoiding the lines by taking late-night sailings and walking on.
All routes will operate on normal Saturday schedules.
Ferry travelers can get rider alerts and check terminal conditions online or on the WSDOT app.
Cold weather can mean high bills. The Snohomish County PUD urges people to be mindful of their energy usage.
PUD spokesperson Aaron Swaney had a few tips:
• Dress warmer and turn the thermostat down a few degrees. Every 3 degrees lower can save customers 10% on heating costs.
• Turn the thermostat down to 55 at night or when away from the home during the holidays.
• Close drapes at night and open them during the day to let the sun in and warm the home naturally.
• Practice zonal heating by closing doors to rooms not in use.
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