PORT TOWNSEND — East Jefferson County has seen a little bit of snow this week, and more is in the forecast for Wednesday.
A weather front Monday night brought traces to an inch of snow to Jefferson County, with more accumulating in the higher elevations, said Kirby Cook, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Port Townsend and Chimacum school districts each had a two-hour delayed start Tuesday, and the Brinnon School District sent students home an hour early.
Matt Stewart, the road maintenance supervisor for Jefferson County Public Works, had teams plowing county roads throughout Monday night and Tuesday, and he was preparing for another front that was predicted to come in overnight.
Stewart said he is expecting the southern parts of the county to see the heaviest snowfall.
“We’re anticipating our resources will be focused on south county,” he said.
Port Townsend Public Works had all five of its plow trucks out early on Tuesday and spread about 100 yards of sand, said Brian Reid, city operations manager for streets, stormwater and sewer.
By the afternoon, much of the snow in Port Townsend had melted, but the National Weather Service expects more is on the way.
“We’re going to see a one-two punch before we get out of this pattern,” Cook said.
The first system was expected to hit overnight between the evening and morning commutes, Cook said.
Snow accumulations could be 4 to 6 inches in West Jefferson County along the coast and the foothills of the Olympics, as well as the Hood Canal, including Quilcene and Brinnon, he said.
Other parts of East Jefferson County, including Port Townsend, could see 1 to 2 inches of snow, Cook said.
The second system is expected this afternoon and follow a similar pattern. It is expected to “linger and lift northward,” Cook said.
Wind gusts up to 45-50 mph could make it particularly challenging this afternoon, Cook said.
The latest round of snow may be dense, which could lead to heavier tree branches and possible power outages, according to the National Weather Service.
The snow should taper off by Thursday afternoon, although overnight low temperatures are expected to be near freezing until Friday, he said.
Port Townsend School District Superintendent John Polm said Tuesday’s delayed start was due to icy road conditions.
The YMCA after-school program at Salish Coast Elementary was canceled, he said.
The Brinnon School District sent students home at 2:15, an hour early, after snow started to accumulate on the road in the afternoon, superintendent Trish Beathard said.
She reported seeing about 2 to 3 inches of snow at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Quilcene School District saw about an inch at the campus, but roads were cleared by the county and state officials, allowing the district to operate like normal, superintendent Frank Redmon said.
“County Public Works has done a really good job keeping our roads clear,” he said. “We will continue to monitor road and weather conditions, with a focus on student and staff safety as they travel to and from school.”
The Public Utility District only saw one small electrical power outage affecting six people in Coyle due to a tree branch on a wire, said Will O’Donnell, PUD communications manager.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].