A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Snohomish County as heavy snow is predicted, starting Tuesday evening.
Updated 12 p.m., Jan. 14, 2020
What’s coming? The National Weather Service is predicting heavy snowfall for Snohomish County, starting Tuesday evening. Snow is expected to begin falling between 7-9 p.m. at rates of up to 2 inches an hour. The snowfall is expected to arrive from the south and push north through the community. This is in addition to the lighter snow that has been falling on and off throughout the day. A winter storm watch is in effect from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 7 a.m. Wednesday. The weather service says it is likely there will be significant impacts on travel, not only this evening but also during the Wednesday morning commute. Try to plan to be off the roads before the worst of the snow hits. And if you don’t need to travel tonight and Wednesday, stay put.
How much snow is expected? The forecast calls for 4-6 inches across much of the county by Wednesday morning, with more accumulations out east. Additional damage to trees and power lines is anticipated. Another round of snow is forecast for late Wednesday through Thursday.
Expect more cold. Tuesday temperatures were in the mid 20s and afternoon highs are expected to be around freezing. Breezy conditions are forecast Wednesday, which could create wind chill temperatures into the single digits in East Snohomish County.
Prepare for icy commutes. Stay off of the roads if you can. If you must travel, check WSDOT’s Traffic twitter account (https://twitter.com/wsdot_traffic) for current conditions on I-5, I-405 and our state highways. The Sheriff’s Office will be posting local road closures to their twitter account as well (https://twitter.com/SnoCoSheriff).
Snow loading/winds and power lines: The snow that is forecast to hit the area tonight and tomorrow could be heavy and dense, weighing down trees and branches and causing them to break and fall into power lines and poles. Combined with Wednesday’s wind, that could cause further damage. These repairs can take hours and that doesn’t take into account the hazardous conditions PUD crews will be working in. Please be patient and know that we have crews in the field that are committed to work until every customer is back in power.
Prepare to be without electricity. #TeamPUD crews will continue to restore power to customers as quickly as conditions allow. The PUD prioritizes outages from big to small, focusing on the higher-voltage transmission level that power substations with large customers like hospitals, schools and businesses. Next, are main circuits from substations that serve neighborhoods and businesses. Finally, smaller outages that serve a handful of homes are addressed. Don’t call 911 if you lose power. Report outages to 425-783-1001 or outagemap.snopud.com.
Heat your home safely. Beware carbon monoxide. Never try to heat your home using a gas stove or charcoal grill. Run portable generators in a well-vented outside area. If your power is out, designate a warmer area in your home as a primary living area, preferably with fewer windows. Dress in layers and, if needed, wear a scarf, gloves and hat.
Be safe around electricity: Patience can wear thin during a power outage, but it’s never a good idea for customers to try to restore power themselves. Do not approach the power line space on the top of poles and stay at least 30 feet away from any fallen power lines. If you do encounter downed power lines, please report to 425-783-1001.
Need a place to stay? With below-freezing temperatures forecast this week, we expect an increased demand for cold weather shelter. Multiple locations in Snohomish County provide overnight shelter when temperatures are below 32 degrees F. Coordinators and volunteers work hard to meet the need in the community, but space is limited. If you are in need of shelter, please call 211 or call ahead to a cold weather shelter. Additional information, including a list of local shelters indicating which are open, is available at www.snohd.org/cold.
Snohomish County road crews at work. Remember to give snowplows and deicers plenty of room this evening. Allow a minimum following distance of 200 feet from plows and deicers while they work. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the displaced snow and ice, or sand spray.
Help each other. Keep an eye on your kids and pets if you are outside, especially near any ponds, lakes or rivers. Check on your elderly or home-bound neighbors.
Stay safe. If you must go out talk over your travel plans with others in your home, even if the trip is just a few miles. Be sure to wear extra layers of outerwear if you will be outside for any length of time (jackets, hats, gloves, extra socks, etc.)
Social Media Accounts to Follow for Updates:
Other Winter Storm Resources:
Snow and Ice Response: https://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/2113/Snow-and-Ice-Response
Road closure: http://www.snoco.org/App4/SPW/PWApp/roads/emclosure/index.html
Priority routes: http://www.snoco.org/App4/SPW/PublicWorks/RoadMaint/snowIcePlanRouteMap.html
Real-time road conditions from WSDOT: https://www.wsdot.com/traffic/
SnoPUD Outage Map: outagemap.snopud.com
SnoPUD Outage Center: https://www.snopud.com/outages
The National Weather Service – Seattle: https://www.weather.gov/sew/