A snowy start to the weekend left a fresh slate for snow angels and sledding in the Yakima Valley on Saturday, with a winter storm warning affecting roads and travel conditions in the area.
The heaviest amounts of snow had fallen by Saturday morning, but a winter storm warning was in effect for the Yakima Valley until 4 p.m. Saturday, with heavy mixed precipitation and up to 1 inch of additional snow accumulation possible, according to the National Metereological Service. in Pendleton, Oregon. A light frosting of ice was also possible, the warning said.
George Perry, a meteorologist with the Pendleton office of the National Weather Service, said the most snow fell in Yakima from Friday night through Saturday, at between 5 and 6 inches. The total depth of the snow was 7 to 8 inches in the area, he said.
Reports from the Lower Valley showed a fresh snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches in Sunnyside and Prosser as of Saturday morning, Perry said.
“I think it’s a bit of a sell-off right now,” he added.
The forecast for Sunday shows a chance of snow and mixed rain, Perry said. Temperatures will hit the upper 30s.
“For the amounts of snow (Sunday), it doesn’t look like much. Maybe a quarter of an inch, not like the last 24 hours,” she said Saturday morning.
With overnight temperatures forecast at 26 degrees, Perry said melting and refreezing is possible.
“I would worry about that: icy surfaces (Sunday) in the morning,” he said. “I would suggest that people judge carefully when they go out (on Sunday) and be aware that there may be some icy conditions.”
He said drivers should allow extra time to get to places, slow down and avoid following other vehicles too closely. Drivers should also have an extra flashlight, food, and water in their vehicles in case of an emergency.
A drop in temperatures is forecast for next week.
Daytime temperatures are forecast to be below freezing starting Tuesday, with a high of 30 degrees expected. That continues Wednesday with a high of 27 and Thursday with a forecast of 28, Perry said.
“It’s going to get colder, but not too much in the way of rain or snow that is expected for most of the week,” he said.
Winter storm warnings were in effect for much of central and northern Washington Saturday, including the Yakima and Kittitas valleys and the eastern slopes of the Washington Cascades. Heavy snow was expected above 4,000 feet, according to advisories.
People who must travel, as well as hikers and skiers who may be on the mountain, should be aware of the potential danger of avalanches and check conditions before setting out.
The Washington State Department of Transportation provides updates on the use of chains, drive tires and other restrictions as conditions change. For the latest road conditions in Snoqualmie and other mountain passes, visit bit.ly/YHR-travelpasses.
Up-to-date information is also available at WSDOT Twitter accounts and its application. Get the latest road conditions by calling 511.