Weather to warm as rain moves onto Peninsula

Hurricane Ridge expects more snow, could open soon

Katherine Hennessy of Port Angeles goes out for a morning jog on Cedar Street on upper Pine hill in Port Angeles on Tuesday. She said the cold and snowy weather doesn’t deter her from training for future distance runs. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

Katherine Hennessy of Port Angeles goes out for a morning jog on Cedar Street on upper Pine hill in Port Angeles on Tuesday. She said the cold and snowy weather doesn’t deter her from training for future distance runs. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)

Temperatures on the Olympic Peninsula are expected to rise this week, with rain heading into the area today and remaining through the weekend.

The weather system moving in will bring warmer temperatures, according to Dev McMillian, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

“It’ll be rainy, showery, with temperatures much warmer than what we’ve seen recently,” McMillian said.

Precipitation tonight may arrive in a “wintry mix,” a combination of rain, snow, freezing rain and sleet, McMillian said, before it turns to rain through the rest of the week.

While precipitation at sea level will arrive as rain, higher elevations will likely see snow. Places like Hurricane Ridge, which has yet to open for the winter sports season, could see between 3 and 6 inches of additional snow.

The Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area said on social media Saturday that snow at the ridge was too unconsolidated to be able to build tracks necessary to run the ski lifts.

“New storms starting on Tuesday so we will try again next weekend,” the group said.

Hurricane Ridge Road was open Monday after it had been closed due to weather last week.

Road conditions were still icy in some places Monday morning, according to State Trooper Katherine Weatherwax, although traffic was moving at highway speeds.

“A few collisions yesterday on (state Highway) 19,” Weatherwax said in an email. “Use caution, some ice still.”

The cold weather caused more than a few plumbing problems for peninsula residents, with many reporting frozen or broken pipes.

“We’ve been helping people for the last four days with frozen water pipes,” said Christine Harmon, assistant manager at Thurman Supply in Port Angeles. “We’ve sold out of every heat tape that we carry in a day and a half.”

Heat tape is an electric wrap that can be placed around pipes, warming them and preventing them from freezing.

Harmon said homeowners can also use a space heater or heat lamp to thaw pipes that may have frozen. Keeping the tap on at just a drip can also keep the water in the pipes moving and prevent freezing.

Harmon said many customers who came into the store over the past few days bought replacement parts for pipes that had already burst.

Clallam County Fire District 3, which covers the Sequim area, said on Facebook Sunday that crews had been responding to multiple calls for broken pipes.

“As pipes begin to thaw and break around Sequim, we ask commercial business owners to keep an eye on their sprinkler systems,” the fire department said. “When water flows, it triggers a fire alarm. Have a plan in place for repairs, and be available for your alarm company to contact you.”

Temperatures through the rest of the week will remain below normal but above freezing, although nighttime temperatures will drop to the mid-30s.

Several emergency shelters and warming centers remained open, although some will stand down their overnight services as temperatures rise.

Serenity House in Port Angeles runs a 24-hour shelter year-round but allows those who have previously been ejected from the shelter to return when temperatures reach freezing.

In Port Townsend, the Jefferson Interfaith Action Coalition runs a Winter Welcoming Center in the Pope Marine Building at 100 Madison St.

This year for the first time the welcoming center operated as an overnight shelter during last week’s cold snap, but it will return to offering only daytime services as of today.

On Friday, the coldest day of the weather system, the warming center saw up to 57 people come in, the most that have ever come in during the six seasons the center has been open, said Ben Casserd, the center’s manager.

Nineteen people stayed at the center overnight Thursday, Casserd said, and more than a dozen stayed overnight Friday through Sunday.

Casserd said he first came to the warming center as a homeless patron several years ago, and he said the hope the center provides inspired him.

“If it wasn’t for this place and the hope that it gives people during the winter time in having a place to go,” Casserd said. “I found this place to be instrumental to be able to do the job that I do.”

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

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