UPDATE | January 13th, 6AM
Snow started falling Sunday night, January 12th, around 9:30PM and didn’t let up until around 2AM. At our home office we picked up about 7 inches of snow – more than was forecast – as the convergence zone settled over the I-90 corridor.
Around 1AM the Snoqualmie Valley School District announced a 2-hour late start, saying it would reassess conditions early Monday morning. At 5:50AM the delay was changed to a closure.
Snoqualmie resident Rachel Money drove to SeaTac Airport around 4AM and said I-90 between Snoqualmie and Preston was a “mess with lots of compact snow,” but after Preston it was pretty decent and by Bellevue the streets were dry. Snoqualmie Parkway has been plowed but drivers say there’s still compact snow and ice.
Based on social media reports, snow totals around the Snoqualmie Valley ranged from 4 to 9 inches, which Duvall picking up the most.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Winter Storm Warning for the for the the East Puget Sound Lowlands (includes Snoqualmie Valley) that runs from Sunday afternoon, January 12th through early Monday, January 13, 2020.
NWS says heavy snow is possible and accumulations could range from 2 – 4 inches. The storm watch area includes a large area that runs from Snohomish County to Pierce County.
Snoqualmie Weather’s Ryan Porter thinks the Snoqualmie Valley foothills specifically could see a 1-3″ of snow Sunday night to Monday morning. He said the higher accumulations in the storm watch are possible in Snohomish County.
Porter commented, “Gusty Fraser River [Valley] outflow favors the Northside of the Olympics, and a potential convergence zone – where cold dry air from the north meets moist warmer air from the south – appears most likely this time to form around Northern Snohomish County. Forecasters historically have struggled with the exact placement of convergence zones so the only way to reliably forecast outside of that accumulation range will be to watch radar closely more in real-time during the event.”
Porter has also been closely watching a potential gap wind event for Wednesday/Thursday in the Valley, but said the models have backed off a bit.
It snowed hard Sunday morning at Snoqualmie Pass, which it had been doing since Friday – making for some really tough travel. At 8:15AM, January 12th, eastbound I-90 was closed [again] at North Bend milepost 34 due to multiple spinouts. WSDOT reopened EB lanes around noon.
Temperatures in Western Washington are expected to drop noticeably Sunday evening into the night as modified Arctic Air moves in through the Fraser River Valley. Highs Monday – Wednesday in the Snoqualmie Valley should hover near freezing. These temps, though, are warmer than those forecast just a couple of days ago.
The Cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie said they are monitoring the snow forecasts and have plows ready if needed.
This article will be update Sunday morning when the newest weather model runs are released – so check back!