lowland snow

Shannon Kringen / Flickr via Compfight

The weekend forecast includes chances of snow, but nothing's for certain, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

"This is a hard one," said Mass. “There’s a lot of uncertainty here. I’ll tell you that right in the beginning.”

Jennifer Strachan

Most of the snow fell overnight while western Washington slept, and "the worst is over," says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass. The metropolitan area of Seattle saw ¾-inch to 3 inches of snow while areas north of the city saw more.

“But for most people, they’ve seen the bulk of what they’re going to get," said Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

Upwards of 250,000 homes served by Puget Sound Energy are without power – and some of the outages are expected to last a long as 4 days. Two of the region's other utilities were also reporting outages, bringing the total to about 280,000.

The ice storm is causing road closures and power outages all over the region.

Pierce, Thurston and Northeast King County are hardest hit.

As wet snow melts and then re-freezes, its weight is breaking tree limbs near roads or pulling entire trees out of the ground.

With snow still on the ground in Seattle, we thought it would be fun to share our snapshots of the scene. We'd love to see yours. You can post them and your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

Let us know if you've put up a YouTube video also (like the pretty darn cool one after the jump):

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

Northshore School District took a snow day today after seven inches of snow in the Bothell area on Sunday and a few more in the days since. 

Snowplows have been out, so the main roads are mostly clear, but many back roads and cul-de-sacs can be trickier to navigate.

More snow is forecast this week across Washington.

While Western Washington drivers cope with their first snow of the winter, the National Weather Service say another 1-to-3 inches are possible by Tuesday and another 4-to-8 inches by Wednesday before turning to rain.

Forecasters say 1-to-2 feet of new snow are possible by late Tuesday in the Cascades with more on Wednesday, which will make driving difficult in the passes.

WSDOT

This morning's headlines are a roundup of the winter snowstorm and cold temperatures affecting Western Washington communities today:

Updated 8:58 a.m.

Driving Conditions Tough, Dangerous

Stay off the roads if at all possible. That advisory is from state transportation leaders, who are dealing with snow and ice clogged sections of freeways, overpasses, and ramps. While many main arterials are passable, the approaches are tough, especially in south King County, Snohomish, Skagit, Thurston and parts of Pierce County, according to KING-TV:

Drivers stuck on Sahalee Way in Redmond were abandoning their cars. Drivers on southbound Interstate 5 near Sea-Tac were crawling along.

As of 9 a.m., WSDOT cameras show that Thurston and Pierce county roads - including I-5 - are heavily impacted by heavy snow, freezing fog and ice. Accidents have caused backups.

The Olympian's Nate Hulings reports driving conditions are expected to worsen today, as National Weather Service forecasts for Thurston County show accumulations could be significant  through this morning:

Periods of heavy snowfall were expected to continue through this morning, with 2 to 6 inches of snow forecast, meteorologist Carl Cerniglia said.

Twitpic/@JerryMoneta

Western Washington is experiencing its coldest temperatures of the season, and it's about to get a lot colder.

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a winter weather advisory for much of the state through Monday night. Southwest Washington's interior, through Olympia and perhaps as far north as Seattle, could see snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches through Monday evening. That's when a second cold front is expected.