Olympics protect most of Peninsula from new snow

PORT ANGELES — The rainshadow effect largely came to the aid of the North Olympic Peninsula this weekend as the area avoided the heavy snow and resulting traffic impacts much of the Puget Sound experienced.

Forecasters were keeping a wary eye on a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain expected late Sunday. Raising the most concern is the possibility of freezing rain, which can ice up roads, said Dr. Mary Butwin, a Seattle-based National Weather Service meteorologist.

There was no new measurable snow in the low elevation areas on the Peninsula as of 7 a.m. Sunday, although the area did see snow flurries off and on all day Saturday and into early Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Seattle area was buried by heavy snow, with numerous weather stations in the region reporting 10 inches or more of new snow by 7 a.m. Sunday. That was on top of 8 to 10 inches reported Friday.

The Hood Canal area saw about 9 inches Friday and Saturday morning, but there was no new accumulation reported Sunday morning. Other areas around the Peninsula saw 2 to 5 inches Friday and Saturday morning, depending on the elevation.

Hurricane Ridge reported 11.8 inches of new snow Sunday on top of 9.8 inches reported Saturday morning.

The snow caused a lot of traffic collisions in Kitsap County, but not too many in Clallam and Jefferson counties, according to State Patrol trooper Chelsea Hodgson. She reported 61 crashes as of noon Saturday in the seven-county District 8 and another 22 collisions as of 6 p.m. Saturday.

Thirty of those crashes in the earlier group of wrecks were in Kitsap County. Only 11 were in Jefferson and Clallam.

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Sports editor Pierre LaBossiere can be reached by email at [email protected]

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