"We're not quite out of it yet," the National Weather Service warns. The next few days could bring icy roads, landslides and urban flooding. But the weekend looks dry, and temperatures could climb into the 40s.
No promises, but it looks as if Seattle’s snow situation is about to come to an end. We’ll just have to deal with some icy roads and frozen slush first.
While temperatures crept above freezing on Wednesday, overnight lows in the 20s are expected to refreeze the snow, slush and rain on untreated roadways and sidewalks. Black ice could make for a challenging Thursday morning commute, meteorologist Kirby Cook said.
The overnight low on Thursday could dip down to freezing, or just a little above freezing, Cook said, so the forecast for the roads on Friday is not clear. By midday Friday, though, there will be widespread highs in to the low to mid-40s, Cook said.
“What’s this?! Temperatures in the lower 40s by the weekend?!?” the National Weather Service in Seattle tweeted Wednesday morning. “I’m not saying it’s time to break out the Bermuda shorts, but at least we won’t have to order coffee on a stick at the local coffee shop. And I won’t need a team of Huskies and a sled to get to work.”
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One more weather system is expected to come through the Puget Sound region on Thursday and Friday, according to the weather service. In the lowlands, it will be warm enough to present as plain old rain, not more snow. But that’s still a cause of some concern, Cook said, as the rain will mix with snow melt and contribute to the possibility of urban flooding and landslides.
“The ground is, or will become, very saturated, so the threat will continue as these systems start to move in,” he said.
Meanwhile, the weather system will bring more snow to areas above 1,000-2,000 feet above sea level, including the mountain passes.
“We’ve been so distracted by lowland snow, we haven’t focused on the snow in the mountains,” Cook said. “They’ve gotten a lot of snow, and they’ll get more, which will affect the passes.”
Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass was closed for 80 miles, from milepost 34 near North Bend to milepost 106 near Ellensburg, all night Tuesday and most of Wednesday because of severe weather. The pass has reopened.
After that system moves through, the region should get some relief just in time for Saturday.
“We’re not quite out of it yet,” Cook said, “but the weekend is looking dry.”