Heavy snow in Cascades
Spring may be less than four weeks away, but snowfall will be measured by the foot Saturday night and Sunday in the mountains as yet another weather system plows into Washington state from the northwest.
At 7 a.m. Sunday, Snoqualmie Pass had received 10 inches of snow in the last 24 hours and Stevens Pass 11 inches, the National Weather Service said.
With snow levels at 1,000 feet, most lowland areas can expect rain on Sunday.
That's the word from the National Weather Service, which has issued a winter storm warning for the Cascades, from the Canadian border to Lewis County, from 7 p.m. Saturday through 7 p.m. Sunday. One to two feet of snow is expected, with higher amounts possible around Mount Rainier. A avalanche warning is also in effect.
Similar amounts are expected in the Cascades down to the Oregon border and beyond, where the winter storm warning is in effect from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Travel conditions in the mountains are likely to be very difficult during the storm, and highway closures are possible at times.
Scott Montgomery, a maintenance supervisor with the state Department of Transportation, said 16 snowplow drivers will be on duty Saturday night and Sunday at Snoqualmie Pass to deal with the copious snowfall.
In the Western Washington lowlands, snow is most likely to accumulate east of Puget Sound and up near the Canadian border, where about an inch of snow is possible on Sunday.
Forecasters also say a Puget Sound convergence zone could form later Sunday, and a threat of lowland snow will return again late Sunday night and early Monday as the snow level drops to near sea level. However, moisture will be drying up by then and most of the area will be dry, with just isolated showers.
Around Seattle, overnight low temperatures are expected to drop to around 35 degrees by early Sunday morning and about 33 degrees by early Monday morning.
After that, the weather pattern remains unsettled, with more systems moving in over the coming week and well below normal temperatures for the final weeks of winter.