Freezing fog, cold temps create slick roads in western WA

Mar 1, 2023, 10:43 AM | Updated: 12:17 pm
Wednesday marks another chilly day in Puget Sound as more snow and below-freezing conditions hit the region. (Photo from Flickr @SteveJohnson)
(Photo from Flickr @SteveJohnson)

Wednesday marks another chilly day in Puget Sound as more snow and below-freezing conditions hit the region.

Temperatures across most of the region were below freezing around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday. Freezing fog affected visibility for drivers during the morning commute. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said crews treated roads overnight, but urged drivers to use caution during the morning commute.

Slushy snow continues in Seattle; heavier snow in the mountains

“Just about every observation station is reading below freezing, which means after yesterday’s precipitation, there could be ice. That and with the fog in play, we are more than likely seeing freezing fog, which could also mean some slick conditions when you head out,” Nick Allard, KIRO 7 TV’s meteorologist, said.

The temperature at Sea-Tac Airport hit 28 degrees Wednesday morning, the coldest temperature in Seattle on this date since 1971, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Strong south winds with the approaching cold front are clearing out the freezing fog, but have also caused a Gale Watch to be issued along the Washington coast from Cape Flattery to Cape Shoalwater. The watch will be in effect from Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon.

High clouds and wind will increase simultaneously, meaning mostly cloudy skies across western Washington. Highs today will be cool again in the mid to upper-40s

Snow levels look to be near or above 500 feet, rising to about 1,000 feet, but close enough to lowland urban areas that any heavier precipitation could bring accumulating snow for a time. Heavy snow is also expected in the mountains Wednesday, continuing into Thursday. The NWS issued a Winter Storm Warning for areas of the Cascades of Whatcom to King counties above 1,000 feet from 4 a.m. Thursday through Friday morning.

The weather service said total snow accumulations between 12-24 inches were possible in the Cascades of Snohomish and King counties, with possible accumulations between 16-30 inches in the Cascades of Whatcom and Skagit counties.

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

Heavy snow is also expected in the south Washington Cascade foothills, the NWS reported. Total snow accumulation of 4-6 inches is possible by Thursday morning.

From Friday through Saturday, highs will be in the low to mid-40s with morning lows near or just above freezing. Pockets of snow and wet snow will be possible, especially in the morning and even during the day with heavier showers, but the weather will look to become cooler and drier starting Sunday and Monday.

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Freezing fog, cold temps create slick roads in western WA