High winds, heavy snow in mountain passes expected through Friday


The cold snap is over for the Puget Sound region, with the last of the lowland snow clearing and morphing into rain, but now we have high winds and snow in the passes to deal with.

A Wind Advisory was issued for the Admiralty Inlet north until 8 a.m. Friday, where gusts could be close to 50 mph.

Watch: Rescue of snowboarder who fell 100 feet at Snow Lake

The rest of western Washington is also pretty breezy, with winds around 15 to 30 mph and gusts between 30 to 40 mph all day, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Washington State Ferries is issuing a warning for morning commuters, stating high winds could cause some bumpy trips, especially for the Port Townsend-Coupeville route and the Anacortes-San Juan Islands route.

While the snow has generally dissipated in the lowlands, it’s still very present in the mountains, with a Winter Storm Warning for the central Cascades north (Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, Mount Baker), making travel very treacherous, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Current predictions show one to two feet of snow in the mountains.

The deadliest avalanche in U.S. history occurred at Stevens Pass

A Winter Weather Advisory is also in effect for Mount Rainier, with 8 to 16 inches of snow in the forecast. The snow will taper late Thursday night into Friday morning, but snow showers will occur throughout the weekend. Drivers can check the latest mountain pass conditions on the WSDOT website.

“Accumulations should be minimal but bear watching with a slightly better chance of lowland snow on Saturday morning during this entire period. There could be some lingering snow showers into early on Sunday, but then we’ll dry out and stay dry for at least a few days,” said Nick Allard, KIRO 7 Meteorologist.

KIRO 7 contributed to this report


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