The wait is almost over for the big snow show that could leave more than a foot on the ground in Olympia and 4 to 6 inches in Seattle.

Areas in the South Sound may continue to see light snowfall through the day from the first snow event, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. But for most of us, the main show will begin around 5 to 6 p.m., when the second, larger snow shower is expected to arrive.

The late rock legend Jimi Hendrix played hot, but never in the snow.  His statue is on Broadway across from Seattle Central College.

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Wed Jan 15, 2020 212709
Snow in Seattle

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Snow is not expected to begin accumulating meaningfully until around 10 p.m. and will then continue through the night, said weather service meteorologist Mary Butwin.

The two, separate snow systems from the Pacific have been moving north into the region, battling dry easterly winds along the way and losing oomph in the process.

That’s why Olympia and surrounds have about 4 to 5 inches on the ground already while Seattle and areas north have merely a dusting.

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But lack of serious accumulation doesn’t mean the roads aren’t affected.

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.

The weather service and the Washington State Department of Transportation have been reporting slick roads, collisions and black ice through the morning. Seattle Department of Transportation reported a King County Metro bus was stuck on an icy road in downtown Seattle just before 7 a.m.

Those easterly winds could keep snow accumulation low near the Cascade foothills, but Seattle should see about 4 to 6 inches, said Maddie Kristell, another weather service meteorologist.

The high temperature on Friday is forecast at 33 degrees, with temperatures colder than the average of 43.3 degrees through Sunday.

There might be a few flurries of snow on Sunday, but on Monday we pop back up into the 40s, said Kristell.

“Looking at the temperatures now, this looks like our last hurrah,” she said.


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