Now ‘freezing rain’ until Friday afternoon

Dec 22, 2022, 3:12 PM | Updated: 7:52 pm
Dangerous weather conditions will remain through Friday afternoon. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Weather conditions in western Washington are serious and continue to worsen as the ice storm moves in.

A Winter Storm Advisory has been issued for the entire area through late Friday. Temperatures will dip into the teens and single digits tonight. Wind chills will be below zero in some pockets. Freezing rain is moving in.

Ice storm brings power outage, flooding risk to Western Washington

KIRO Newsradio meteorologist Ted Buehner provided MyNorthwest with this exclusive forecast:

A rather unique weather scenario is going to unfold tonight through tomorrow. First, lets set the stage. Earlier this week, cold air from the interior of Western Canada surged south across the state and included some snowfall. Then skies cleared, allowing temperatures to plunge with lows this morning mainly in the teens though Arlington got down to just 1 above zero, and highs today struggled to climb into the 20s.
With this dome of cold air residing over Western Washington and warmer moist air spreading over it, some very dynamic weather will develop tonight into Friday. The incoming warmer moist air from the Pacific will ride over the colder air, resulting initially in snow overnight. But as the warmer ocean air flow spreads inland, the colder air will give way. During that transition is when freezing rain and icing conditions can develop by tomorrow morning, collecting on trees, power lines, everything, and can result in power outages. Most of the freezing rain is expected from about Seattle southward.
By Friday afternoon, temperatures will have risen above freezing with the snow and freezing rain turning to rain with highs climbing to near 40, but leaving quite a sloppy scene. And for the holiday weekend, rain at times and highs rising to near 50 degrees, the first time at that mark since Nov 24th.”

Prepare for dangerously low temps, ice storm across Puget Sound

The National Weather Service in Seattle reports winds as high as 50 mph struck parts of the region Thursday.

Freezing rain is moving with the central and south Sound bearing the brunt.

Freezing rain does not happen often west of the Rocky Mountains, Ted said. “But when it does, we have all kinds of issues.”

According to the KIRO 7 weatherblog:

East wind will increase and wind chill will be very low closer to the Cascade Foothills ahead of this system. The rest of the area will be mainly dry until late, when moisture moves in from south to north late tonight into early Friday. Highs will be very cold in the mid-20s.

The weather event is a snow and ice event similar to (but not lasting as long) as what we experienced way back in January 2012. I expect significant impacts to road and air travel across the area with the worst of the weather for Western Washington late Thursday night through early afternoon Friday.

Some light to moderate snow will move in at the coast and into Western Washington Thursday evening though with the dry air in place, we might not have major impacts from snow until overnight for much of Puget Sound.”

Multiple crashes are being reported in the metro Seattle area, and sideroads are challenging.

The passes continue to have on-and-off issues and authorities are advising drivers not to even attempt the route until Friday afternoon.

I-90 shut down for most of Thursday near North Bend due to weather conditions

Flights are being canceled and delayed at Sea-Tac Airport. Officials advise giving yourself 2-3 hours to get through traffic and security lines. Check with carriers before you leave.

This is a developing story, Check back frequently for updates.

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Now ‘freezing rain’ until Friday afternoon