Scattered storms with a few breaks of dry relief continue to travel through the Puget Sound area. Wednesday morning’s commute so far looks to be wet and slow.
Wednesday morning commuters may have to deal with more standing water on the roadways, but the rain is expected to taper off into showers into late morning.
The break will be short as another, and the final, system moves through Wednesday afternoon. KING-5 Meteorologist Jim Guy says total rainfalls between now and then will be less than one inch in Seattle, which is significantly less than what we saw on Monday.
The commute may be the most difficult for north-end Sounder Train riders. More than 15 mudslides along rail tracks from Seattle to Everett have halted Sounder service for Wednesday. Back-up bus service for Edmonds, Mukilteo and Everett Sounder riders is being provided. Freight trains have been running sporadically. No Amtrak or commuter rail train will run between Seattle and Everett until 12:30 a.m. Thursday at the earliest, if no other mudslides occur.
Despite dreadful commute conditions, all the rain in the lowlands has made for a skier’s paradise. Enough snow in the mountains lets a number of local ski areas open for the season.
Stevens Pass opened the lifts Tuesday with limited operations. The area reports a base of 21 to 26 inches. Mount Baker and Crystal Mountain plan to open a couple of runs on Wednesday.
Gwynn Howatt at Mt. Baker says the area already has over 40 inches on the higher slopes.
Crystal Mountain Resort will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. The base at Crystal is 20 inches and the summit has a depth of 40 inches, with 15 inches of new snow falling Sunday night.
Mission Ridge near Wenatchee plans to open Friday. Whistler/Blackcomb in British Columbia opened last Saturday.
Travel through mountain passes however, may still be difficult, if not impossible.
The Washington State Department of Transportation closed the SR 20/North Cascades Highway for the season on Tuesday. Nearly two feet of new snow and several snowslides, coupled with a weather forecast calling for more snow through the weekend, prompted closure of the cross-state highway.