PORT ANGELES — Snowfall overnight has closed school districts and delayed transit systems across the North Olympic Peninsula today.
The Port Angeles, Sequim, Quilcene and Brinnon school districts are closed today, with Port Townsend operating on a two-hour delay with no preschool and buses using snow routes. Chimacum is also on a two-hour delay.
Peninsula College has closed all of its campuses, and both Clallam and Jefferson Transit have warned travelers to expect delays. Clallam Transit is operating on snow detour routes.
The National Weather Service was predicting up to 5 inches of snow on the Pacific Coast and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca by today, said meteorologist Andy Haner.
A NWS winter storm warning remains in effect until 4 p.m. today, with additional snow accumulations of 1 inch to 3 inches expected through this afternoon. The best chances for higher accumulations remain on hilltops, and lesser accumulations are expected closer to sea level.
“The area we’re emphasizing with more snow is as you get a couple hundred feet above sea level,” he said.
“Once you get up the hill even 200 or 300 feet, we’re talking a couple inches more,” he said.
He said the Hood Canal and southwest interior could see between 2 and 4 inches of snow.
Cold air will stay in the area, creating more chances of lowland snow through Thursday, meteorologists said.
Much of the North Olympic Peninsula will see lows in the 30s and lower 20s with highs up to about 40, he said.
By Thursday, the weather is expected to warm up with highs in the upper 40s and lows in the upper 30s, he said.
“By Thursday we’re looking to return to perhaps some heavy rain,” he said.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to be prepared for the possibility of losing power.
“If you have alternate heat, bring that wood in, gas up your generators and make sure you have what you need for a day or two if we do get dumped on,” Undersheriff Ron Cameron said in a statement. “It may be a good day to burn a floating holiday or something tomorrow as our roads will undoubtedly be poor, so staying in with cocoa and a blanket just might not be a bad thing.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at email@example.com.