Casey Balch of Port Angeles shovels snow from the roof of Shirley’s Cafe on South Lincoln Street in Port Angeles on Tuesday. Restaurant owner Sheri Mackrow said she feared a repeat of the snowstorm of 1996 — when heavy snow followed by rain led to roof collapses from the weight of the combined slush — so she enlisted the help of her son to reduce the load. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Casey Balch of Port Angeles shovels snow from the roof of Shirley’s Cafe on South Lincoln Street in Port Angeles on Tuesday. Restaurant owner Sheri Mackrow said she feared a repeat of the snowstorm of 1996 — when heavy snow followed by rain led to roof collapses from the weight of the combined slush — so she enlisted the help of her son to reduce the load. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Peninsula slush likely to freeze overnight

PORT ANGELES — The blanket of snow on the North Olympic Peninsula turned into a slushy mess Tuesday as warmer temperatures and light rain moved into the lowlands.

“The heaviest snow is over, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Courtney Obergfell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, on Tuesday.

After a series of winter storms — and a respite from the weather today — another system was expected to bring a mix of snow and rain to the lowlands Thursday into Friday.

Precipitation was forecast to fall mostly as rain near sea level and as snow in the foothills.

“It’s going to be a little warmer, so snow levels are going to be a little higher,” Obergfell said Tuesday.

“Snow levels will be rising to about 1,000 feet. We can’t rule out another rain-snow mix, but it looks like mostly rain in the lower elevations.”

Obergfell added that temperatures will drop below freezing in the Peninsula lowlands tonight, resulting in slippery roads, highways and streets.

“Anything that melts in the next couple of days will likely refreeze overnight,” Obergfell said.

Obergfell said there was a chance for more lowland snow next week, adding that the forecast had a high degree of uncertainty.

High temperatures were forecast to climb into the low 40s in Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Sequim and Forks on Friday and Saturday, contributing to the slow melt.

New snow

Snow spotters reported between 2.8 inches and 6.5 inches of new snow in Port Angeles on Tuesday morning.

Other spotters in higher elevations south of the city reported one-day totals between 10 inches and 12.8 inches, the National Weather Service said.

Spotters near Neah Bay, which remained without power Tuesday, reported 2 to 9 inches of new snow. A spotter north of Sequim observed 3.2 inches of fresh snow.

“It varies quite a lot with elevation,” Obergfell said of the accumulations.

An earlier storm produced more than two feet of snow outside of Sequim and Port Angeles on Friday and Saturday.

The State Patrol reported 44 collisions and 28 abandoned or disabled vehicles on Clallam County highways from 11 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Tuesday, said Trooper Chelsea Hodgson, State Patrol spokeswoman.

During that time, Jefferson County experienced 16 collisions and 29 abandoned or disabled vehicles, Hodgson said.

Hodgson reminded drivers to watch their speed, even on highways that have been plowed.

“Just because it looks clear doesn’t mean they need to go as fast as the posted speed limit,” Hodgson said in a Tuesday interview.

“We don’t want people to end up in a ditch.”

A downed tree blocked both lanes of state Highway 112 near Neah Bay on Tuesday morning, the state Department of Transportation said.

The highway was closed at milepost 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:02 a.m., according to DOT.

12 stuck trucks

In Jefferson County, U.S. Highway 101 was reduced to one lane at milepost 312 south of Brinnon from about 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday after 12 semitrucks became stuck in the snow.

“They got stuck after the snow started falling,” Hodgson said.

No injuries were reported, she said.

“The first semi jack-knifed and then the second tried going around the first and got stuck,” Hodgson said. “Then the third tried to go around the second. They all became stuck and blocked the entire roadway.”

The southbound lane was open with alternating traffic as a trooper helped to chain up nine trucks.

On Tuesday, Hodgson said drivers were spinning out and hitting guardrails all over Highway 101.

“Drivers need to realize that even though the roads are bare and wet, there are some snow patches,” she said. “When the temperatures fall at night that water turns to ice and becomes slick.

“Slow down and be cautious,” Hodgson advised.

DOT crews were “working hard” to clear highways in Clallam and Jefferson counties Tuesday, Hodgson said.

“We’ve still got snow and slush in the shoulders and the medians of the less-traveled routes,” she said.

The Clallam County Public Utility District reported 763 outages in Neah Bay at 4 p.m. Tuesday. There were 1,500 outages in the county earlier in the day.

Jefferson County PUD reported no outages Tuesday.

Clallam Bay prison

Inmates at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center were offered extra blankets Monday because of fluctuating temperatures related to a boiler replacement project, a state Department of Corrections (DOC) official said.

The prison is in the middle of a long-planned boiler replacement, and the back-up boiler was producing temperatures ranging from 65 degrees to 75 degrees, DOC spokesman Jeremy Barclay said.

The old boiler kept temperatures in the 68- to 70-degree range, Barclay said.

DOC staff was monitoring the back-up boiler and temperatures inside the prison.

“We’re constantly monitoring it, trying to get it as regulated and consistent as possible,” Barclay said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Port Angeles and Sequim school districts announced Tuesday that classes would be canceled today.

“When we are able to assure safety for all, classes will resume,” Sequim School District officials said in a Tuesday alert.

Brinnon School District is also closed today.

Chimacum School District canceled preschool and out-of-district transportation, and was planning on an early release schedule for today.

The Port Townsend and Quilcene school districts planned to resume classes at the regular times with regular bus routes today.

For information on other school districts, check their websites.

The Sequim Civic Center, which had been closed for inclement weather, was scheduled to resume normal hours today. The civic center at 152 W. Cedar St. will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

City officials reported a few inches of fresh snow Tuesday morning.

“The Public Works crew is working on clearing the main arterial streets and then will begin clearing residential streets,” Sequim officials said.

Port Angeles City Hall also was closed Tuesday. Updates will be posted on the city’s website, www.cityofpa.us.

“Essential functions and services will continue to operate,” Port Angeles city officials said.

“Citizens should continue to limit driving and use alternative routes to avoid hills or problem areas.”

The Clallam County commissioners’ work session, which was canceled Monday for inclement weather, has been rescheduled for Thursday.

The work session will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 160 at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles.

The Port of Port Angeles closed its administrative office at 338 W. First St. in Port Angeles on Tuesday. Port offices will re-open as soon as it is safe to do so, officials said.

Port customers and tenants with urgent issues can call port security at 360-457-1909.

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Jefferson County reporter Jeannie McMacken contributed to this story.

A city-owned snowplow clears a parking lot in the 100 block of West Front Street in downtown Port Angeles on Tuesday. After multiple waves of snow since Friday, many people on the North Olympic Peninsula find themselves with the task of digging out from under snow amounts totaling up to two feet in some areas. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A city-owned snowplow clears a parking lot in the 100 block of West Front Street in downtown Port Angeles on Tuesday. After multiple waves of snow since Friday, many people on the North Olympic Peninsula find themselves with the task of digging out from under snow amounts totaling up to two feet in some areas. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Madelyn Archibald assists a garter snake found in the snow along Maxfield Road north of Forks on Sunday. She picked up the snake and released it into a brush pile back in the timber. (Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News)

Madelyn Archibald assists a garter snake found in the snow along Maxfield Road north of Forks on Sunday. She picked up the snake and released it into a brush pile back in the timber. (Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News)

Snow covers Port of Port Angeles piers Tuesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula daily News)

Snow covers Port of Port Angeles piers Tuesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula daily News)

More in News

Lydia Madruga, left, and Judy Perry, both of Port Angeles, examine plants and flowers in the backyard garden of Lorenzo Portelli and Darlenme Sabo, a stop on Saturday’s Petals and Pathways garden tour. The event, hosted by the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County, showcased a collection of private and public gardens in Port Angeles and served as a fundraiser for the Woodcock Demonstration Garden near Agnew and Master Gardener plots at the Fifth Street Community Garden in Port Angeles, as well as community outreach and education programs. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Garden tour

Lydia Madruga, left, and Judy Perry, both of Port Angeles, examine plants… Continue reading

Bayside Housing to take over Port Townsend shelter July 1

Jefferson County, service agency reach $350,000 agreement

Clallam County Fire District 2 places two measures on ballot

Levy lid lift, EMS levy ‘a big ask,’ fire chief says

Joshua Percival of the Washington State Emergency Management Agency at Camp Murray installs a communications antenna on the recently replaced tsunami alert siren near Port Angeles Boat Haven on Friday in preparation for bringing a second siren into the downtown area online. The original siren at the same location was destroyed when an automobile struck the pole in April 2023, sending the siren crashing to the ground. The unit supplements a siren at First and Lincoln streets, covering the central Port Angeles area. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Siren replaced

Joshua Percival of the Washington State Emergency Management Agency at Camp Murray… Continue reading

Work to begin on fish project on Highway 101 south of Forks

Work crews will begin a fish passage improvement project on… Continue reading

Health warning lifted at East Beach on Marrowstone Island

Jefferson County Public Health has lifted the health warning from… Continue reading

Abby Counts, 8, with assistance from her father, Taylor Counts, an EMT with Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue, gives a newly acquired tender truck a ceremonial wash down during a push-in ceremony on Saturday at the district’s Station 22. The truck, tender 22, cost $459,439 and was paid for by the fire district’s 2020 levy lid lift. Saturday’s ceremony also included a blessing by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and a “push-in” of the truck into its berth. The tender replaces a 31-year-old truck that had reached the end of its useful life. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
New tender

Abby Counts, 8, with assistance from her father, Taylor Counts, an EMT… Continue reading

The 95 Port Townsend High School seniors walk through the rhody garden at Fort Worden State Park on their way to the graduation ceremony on Friday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Graduation walk

Port Townsend, Chimacum ceremonies

Lands commissioner wary of federal plan to kill thousands of owls

Washington’s public lands commissioner, Hilary Franz, is voicing skepticism about a federal… Continue reading

Operations scheduled at Bentinck range this week

The land-based demolition range at Bentinck Island will be… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading