Wintry weather forecast on Peninsula

Heavy snow coming in Olympic mountains

SEATTLE — It’s going to snow in the lowlands this week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday.

How much snow falls and sticks depends upon where you live.

Snow levels were expected to drop overnight Sunday, according to meteorologist Jeff Michalski of the Seattle National Weather Service, who said at least an inch of accumulation was expected by this morning on some lowland areas of the North Olympic Peninsula.

The lowest levels were expected near the Strait of Juan de Fuca and areas near the Pacific Coast might not get any at all, he said.

Those at higher elevations south of U.S. Highway 101, as well as the area around Lake Crescent, are expected to get more snowfall than coastal areas while heavy snow is forecast for the Olympics Mountains. As of Sunday, the snotel site at Hurricane Ridge reported 13 inches of snow.

Although British Columbia’s Fraser River Outflow was expected to have some effect overnight Sunday, little moisture was forecast to be available to fuel the kind of massive snowfalls seen in the past when the north winds come up.

After dry but cold weather this afternoon and Tuesday morning, a second round of lowland snowfall, which could prove to be heavier than that earlier in the week, is expected late Tuesday afternoon or evening through Wednesday night, Michalski said.

Strong southeast winds are expected to peak Tuesday night.

Temperatures this week will be chilly as a mass of cold air tracks down from the Gulf of Alaska down the British Columbia coast. Lows will be near freezing and highs will be in the high 30s or low 40s, according to the forecast.

“It’s the first impactful winter storm of the season,” Michalski said of the weather this week. “Be prepared for winter travel, delays, everything associated with lowland snow.”

The storm also will bring snow to the Cascade mountain passes, meteorologists said. It was expected to reach Eastern Washington and Idaho by Sunday and continue east to Montana.

As snow levels drop, the white stuff was likely to fall in Portland and Seattle by today.

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Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at lleach@soundpublishing.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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