Snow forgot to change to rain, blankets Snoqualmie Valley; more cold temps, light snow possible next week

UPDATE |  SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10TH, 8:30AM

If you’ve lived in the Puget Sound area for a while, one thing you learn quickly is that forecasting snow is VERY difficult. It takes a combination of numerous factors to make it all play out. On Friday, the forecast played out pretty close to prediction for all areas EXCEPT the Cascade foothill communities.

That morning/early afternoon change over to rain that happened all over the Seattle/Bellevue area never materialized in the Valley. Why? Strong east winds pulling in cold air from eastern Washington and a warm front that turned out to be a bit weaker than that cold air – plus an upslope effect that gave snow showers a little extra ‘ump.’  It all combined to make the Snoqualmie Valley its own snowglobe microclimate.

The Washington State Patrol said that it investigated 113 collisions in King County on Friday – and that total did not include all the spinouts they also responded to, many of them occurring on I-90 east of Snoqualmie.

Late Friday night the National Weather Service extended its Winter Storm Warning for the Snoqualmie Valley as our snow was the little-engine-that-could.  The warning finally expired at 3AM, which produced a beautiful, snowy scene around the area this morning.

The City of Snoqualmie stated Saturday morning that its snow plows continue to work – and were preparing to tackle to side streets after focusing most attention to main lines on Friday and overnight.  County plows and sanders also got to Uplands Way and Cedar Falls Road in North Bend overnight – both higher elevation areas also get a lot of snow.

Wilderness Rim appears to be the snow-bowl winner, with residents picking up 11″ of snow by Saturday morning. In Snoqualmie (my home), we got about 4-5″.

High temps in the Snoqualmie Valley this weekend should be in the upper 30’s to low 40’s, with rain showers in the forecast as well. Starting Monday, weather forecasters say another bout of arctic air may filter into the area. Sunday night into Monday morning another shot at snow is also possible (only around 102″), with temperatures not expected to make it past freezing all week long.

Stay warm Snoqualmie Valley!

Wilderness Rim snow in North Bend, 12/10/16. Photo: Kathy Hyland

Cedar Falls Road in Wilderness Rim area of North Bend Saturday morning, 12/10/16. Photo: Facebook

Snoqualmie Parkway Friday afternoon, 12/9/16


UPDATE |  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9TH, 1:45PM

The National Weather Service upgraded the [extended] winter weather advisory to a Winter Storm Warning for the Snoqualmie Valley area as of 1:30PM, saying snow will continue to move across east Puget Sound Cascade Foothill communities. They stated the proximity to the Cascades was providing some upslope enhancement to showers and also trapping cold air near the surface.

The storm warning runs through 10PM, December 9th. NWS said an additional three inches of snow was possible with a localized 6-8 inches also a possibility – along with freezing rain.  Wilderness Rim reported 5″ of snow by 1:30PM.

WSP has dealt with many spinouts on I-90 between Snoqualmie and North Bend Friday afternoon, including one incident where a driver was lucky to escape uninjured near exit 27 on I-90. Picture below.

Cedar Falls Way in North Bend also dealt with a truck blocking the road as school let out Friday afternoon. The Snoqualmie Valley School District was forced to chain up all buses to get students home after snow that was forecast to change over to rain never materialized.

MSHS Freshman Campus, Friday afternoon, 12/9/16

City of Snoqualmie snow plows and sanders continue to work. You can see their routes HERE. Road conditions were a bit worse in downtown Snoqualmie than on the Ridge as temperatures were a couple of degrees colder there.

Good News – WSDOT said all lanes of eastbound SR 18 at Issaquah/Hobart Road reopened at 2:30PM. One/all lanes had been blocked on and off since 10AM due to snow and accidents.

The Snoqualmie Valley School District put out the following announcement regarding after school activities:

  • All after school and evening school activities, and building rentals, are cancelled.
  • The AWAY Basketball Games at Newport High School that were originally scheduled to continue were cancelled as of 3PM
  • The High School’s DRAMA Production and Dinner are also cancelled tonight. Those who have purchased tickets for tonight will be able to use them at the two Saturday performances (at 2 and 7pm) or at an additional show on Monday evening at 7pm, that includes dinner.

Vehicle almost left I-90 over the guardrail near exit 27. Pic: WSP

Spun out semi on WB 90 near exit 32 around 12PM, 12/9/16. Pic: WSP

Downtown Snoqualmie Friday afternoon, 12/9/16


UPDATE |  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9TH, 10AM

The National Weather Service just extended its Winter Weather Advisory for the Snoqualmie Valley that was due to expire at 9AM.  It now runs through 4PM, but states the snow should last mainly through 1PM with brief freezing rain possible this afternoon.

Additional accumulation of two inches, maybe localized three inches, are possible through this afternoon/evening for Cascade foothill areas, according to the new Winter Weather Advisory. The snow is still expected to eventually turn to rain.

The Washington State Patrol said numerous spinouts have been occurring on eastbound and westbound I-90 west of North Bend and to use caution if traveling through this area. Around 10AM a multiple vehicle accident was blocking all lanes of eastbound SR 18 at the base of Tiger Mountain, near Issaquah Hobart Road. WSP tweeted at 10:35AM that it will be shutting down BOTH directions EB and WB SR 18 at Issaquah Hobart Road due to multiple collisions in that area.  Westbound SR 18 at Isq-Hobart Rd reopened shortly before 11AM, but the WB SR 18 exit to Isq-Hobart Rd still remained closed.

Good news – SR 202 between Snoqualmie and Fall City is back open, as downed trees have been removed.


ORIGINAL STORY

Even with the overnight snow, Snoqualmie Valley Schools started on time, and on snow routes, December 9, 2016.  I made the trek to Mount Si High School from Snoqualmie Ridge. If you’re heading that way – or off to work – city snow plows and sanders were working very hard. Even with their effort, the parking lot at Mount Si was about half empty this morning, though.

Snoqualmie Parkway to SR 202/Railroad AVE was compact snow the whole way at 7:30AM. It was well sanded, but most cars were cautiously going 15-20mph down the hill.  SR 202 through downtown Snoqualmie was also compact snow, but was sanded and plows were working on it.

The way back up Snoqualmie Parkway was better than going down. Again, the road had lots of sand on it. Snoqualmie Parkway from Center Blvd to I-90 appeared to be better, without way less compact snow.

Drivers reported I-90 between North Bend and SR 18 to be a bit trick early this morning, but the reports stated once you hit Preston, it greatly improved.

SR 202 was closed at milepost 24 – at 370th CT SE – due to trees coming down across the roadway overnight. WSDOT said WSP was on scene as of 6:30AM… but this is why the road was blocked near Snoqualmie Falls early Friday morning. As of 9AM, the City of Snoqualmie said drivers should use alternate routes and there was no ETA for reopening yet.

According to the National Weather Service, a mix of wintery precipitation is expected through the morning – and they still say it should change to rain later this morning/early afternoon.  Even though the wind advisory was lifted and the howling easterly wind has calmed some, it was pretty breezy out – and still pulling in cooler air from Eastern Washington.

As of 8:30AM, temperatures were in the upper 20’s to low 30’s around the Valley. with ice pellets/snow falling (and blowing) in Snoqualmie. Looking at the radar, more rain (possibly freezing), ice, snow, etc will continue to fall this morning and possibly into the afternoon.  The wind is supposed to ease up as the morning continues.

Take it slow and stay safe Snoqualmie Valley.  And let us know how the weather is in your neck of the Valley!

Wilderness Rim road in . North Bend where snow continued Friday morning, 12/9/16. PC: Kathy Hyland

 

Icicle hangs from porch light in Snoqualmie early 12/9/16

 

Comments

  1. Grace Culver says

    Snow didn’t really start sticking in Fall City till around 10 AM Friday morning. Until then there was so much wind all night that the snow amounted to just a trace. Accumulation where I live is about 1-2 inches after all day snowing and blowing. There were power outages during the night amounting to about 40 minutes overall. None today though.

  2. Mark Wermann says

    What does it take an act of God to get any snow plows in North Bend??? The roads have not been touched at all in this town..

  3. The school district really misjudged this event. A delay of classes to better gauge the impact of the storm would have been wise. Even in the moment parents throughout the valley thought this was obvious.

Speak Your Mind

*

%d bloggers like this: