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The weather service is warning that lowland snow is possible in Western Washington this weekend, more likely on Sunday than Saturday.

For the thousands of riders expected in Sunday’s
“Chilly Hilly” bicycle ride on Bainbridge Island, the 42-year-old event will certainly live up to its name but will likely not be hampered by snow. Sunday’s forecast for the island calls for a high near 40 and a 50 percent chance of precipitation.

A “special weather statement” from the weather service Friday backed away from an earlier projection for “significant lowland snow.”

The revised outlook says a weak weather system is expected to move into Western Washington on Saturday, potentially bringing the snow level below 1,000 feet and producing some wet snow on the hills.

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On Sunday, a push of cold air is expected to move down from British Columbia that could provide a wider area of snowfall — even though some forecast models suggest it may be too warm to snow in the Central Puget Sound area, the weather service said.

If snow does fall, it’s likely to be minimal. In the Seattle area, that could mean a half-inch of snow Sunday and an inch Sunday night before the precipitation shifts to rain.

Winter driving conditions are likely to persist in the mountain passes, where up to 2 feet of snow could fall during the weekend.

Even with the cold, damp forecast, the “Chilly Hilly” is expected to draw 3,000 to 5,000 riders, said Anne-Marije Rook, spokeswoman for the Cascade Bicycle Club, organizers of the event

“We’re from the Seattle area. We’re used to rain, and many of us ride year-round,” Rook said. But she said the weather will likely keep attendance well below the record of 6,029 riders, set on an unseasonably warm day in 2010.

The 33-mile ride, in which cyclists gain and lose 2,675 feet of elevation, benefits the Cascade Bicycle Club and Bainbridge Island nonprofits. Participants can register on the day of the event. See details.

Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or

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