That good old Fraser River Valley wind from Canada is doing its icy thing this week, knocking temperatures down into the 20s in the Puget Sound region and giving us a good chance for some snow that sticks around later this week.

Snow fell Monday morning in some parts of Western Washington. It came from the convergence zone and is localized, said Mary Butwin of the National Weather Service in Seattle.

She said there may be more scattered lowland snow Tuesday into Wednesday but there’s a shot of more widespread snow Thursday.

But it’s too soon whether we will get widespread, heavy snow, she said.

“One model is saying we are going to get a lot of snow, the other nothing,” she said.

The coldest day, she said, is expected to be Thursday or Friday, with temperatures in the low to mid-20s.

Advertising

Seattle officials said they are prepared to activate hundreds of emergency shelter beds across the city for people who are homeless in response to a snowstorm or cold weather event — defined as snowfall more than an inch deep or forecast temperatures of 25 degrees or below for multiple days. The NWS forecast for the Seattle area calls for a low in the mid-20s on Wednesday night, with temperatures in the 20s continuing for the next three nights.

Cold-weather tips

Before cold weather

  • Locate and insulate pipes most susceptible to freezing—typically those near outer walls in crawl spaces or in the attic. Insulation made for this purpose is available at hardware stores.
  • Wrap the pipes in UL-approved heat tape.
  • Seal any leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.

When the weather gets cold

  • Let cold water trickle at night from the faucet farthest from the hot water tank.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks.
  • Make sure heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees. If you plan to be away, have someone check the house daily to make sure the heat is still on.

If the pipes freeze

  • Make sure you and your family know how to shut off the water in case the pipes burst.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch.
  • Always be careful of the potential for electrical shock in and around standing water.
  • Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent.

Seattle emergency-management officials are “monitoring the weather forecast and conditions, and assessing that against our existing emergency plans,” including options for emergency sheltering, said Kate Hutton, a spokesperson for the city’s Office of Emergency Management.


Want weather updates via text message?
Text the word WEATHER to 855-480-9667 or enter your phone number below.

Seattle Times reporter Daniel Gilbert contributed to this report.