Threats of overnight snow and freezing drizzle left most of Western Washington braced for the biggest flurry of winterlike weather this season, as local governments and transit agencies prepared for roadway treachery come Tuesday morning.
Light snow began falling early Monday along parts of the Washington coast.
By afternoon, the National Weather Service had issued a Winter Weather Advisory, warning that up to an inch of snow could be headed to parts of Seattle proper, with up to 3 inches in areas in East and Southeast King County. Forecasters expected the largest accumulations at higher elevations and around the Cascade foothills.
Municipal and county road crews throughout the region reported preparing early. Everett officials announced they had snowplows at the ready, with crews prepared to “work around the clock.”
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In Bellevue, officials touted its proactive work to spread de-icer on bridges and other areas susceptible to ice. Seattle’s city website reminded visitors of alternate ice and snow routes and carried other cold-weather tips and information sources.
Metro Transit made it through Monday’s evening commute with little trouble. But the agency tweeted warnings later that its Tuesday bus service could be affected should snow and ice strike overnight.
Meantime, King County public-works officials said crews would be out early to clear roads if necessary.
Meteorologists expected any snowfall would turn to rain by late morning or early afternoon Tuesday. But they also cautioned that warm, moist air moving in over a cold surface layer of air can create rain that freezes as it falls.
Low temperatures overnight were expected to range from 28 to 32 degrees throughout Western Washington.
If that seems cold to you, consider what your friends and relatives east of the Cascades are coping with: Overnight lows of 9 to 15 degrees.
Seattle Times reporter Jack Broom contributed to this report.
Lewis Kamb: 206-464-2932 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @lewiskamb