It’s been snowing in the mountains since Sunday night, but that won’t mean a white Thanksgiving in the lowlands, according to the National Weather Service.
People traveling through the passes should pay close attention to weather conditions, but those staying in the Puget Sound region should see rain and windy weather taper off by Wednesday. “After that it will just be cold,” said meteorologist Johnny Burg with the weather service in Seattle, which is predicting temperatures around 40 degrees for the Seattle area.
Snow began falling in the Cascades and the mountain passes Sunday night, leading the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to issue advisories on some of the passes. Restrictions for drivers going through Snoqualmie and Stevens passes Monday were reduced later in the day. At Stevens, traction tires were advised and oversized vehicles were prohibited Monday evening. Drivers using White Pass are advised to have traction tires and oversized vehicles were prohibited.
There’s a chance the passes could see more snow through Wednesday morning, but it’s slight, Burg said Monday evening. Conditions at passes should be mostly sunny and dry from Wednesday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, but drivers should check WSDOT’s website for pass conditions before they travel and be prepared in case there is snow, he said.
The snow elevation could creep lower into Tuesday, bringing a slight possibility of snow mixed with rain in some lowland areas — but probably not Seattle, said meteorologist Carly Kovacik with the weather service. If this did happen, the snow would be mixed with heavier showers and there would be little to no accumulation, Burg said.
In King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, where some residents saw hail and lightning Monday, the dramatic weather will take a turn by midweek, although chilly temps will remain.
“Seattle will struggle to see 40 degrees,” Kovacik said of the week’s cool-down, which could bring overnight lows in the 20s and highs just a few degrees above freezing.
Gusts could hit 20 to 25 mph in the Seattle area through Wednesday but areas further north, could see winds with gusts of up to 40 to 55 mph. There is a wind advisory Wednesday and Wednesday evening for San Juan and western Skagit counties. Winds are predicted to be in the 25 to 35 mph range with gusts hitting 55 mph. A high wind warning was issued for the western portion of Whatcom County for Wednesday and Wednesday night. Winds will be between 25 and 45 mph and gusts could hit 60 mph.
Showers could come back into the picture by Sunday.