Live updates: Blizzard conditions shut down 20-mile stretch of I-90 in central Washington
By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
February 09, 2019, 2:35:04 PM EST
As of 10:45 a.m. PST, this story is no longer being updated. For a recap of the snowstorm, click here.
A potent winter storm is causing major disruptions to travel and daily routines across the Northwest, including the Seattle metro area.
“Heavy snow can be expected through Saturday morning as a storm continues to dive southward and parallel the Washington and Oregon coastlines," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio said.
Washington's Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Friday ahead of the snowstorm.
Travel could be difficult to impossible across parts of the Interstate-5 corridor, including Siskiyou Summit in Oregon.
"Travel will be dangerous through Saturday as roads will be entirely snowcovered," Rossio said.
Travel may be difficult to impossible over Donner Summit, California, along I-80 at the height of the storm. Motorists should check on the situation before venturing out on their journey.
“The cold will also be dangerous for those who are not acclimated. Temperatures through Saturday night will run 10-20 degrees below normal," Rossio said.
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As of 10:45 a.m. PST, this story is no longer being updated. For a recap of the snowstorm, click here.
10:35 a.m. PST Saturday:
Below is a list of updated approximate amounts across the Seattle area. Agnew, Washington received 18 inches of snow.
8:45 a.m. PST Saturday:
As of Saturday morning snowfall reports are as high as 8 inches in some areas of Washington.
7:30 a.m. PST Saturday:
As residents across Washington continue to report snow amounts, a total of 21.5 inches was reported in the Port Angeles foothills.
6:45 a.m. PST Saturday:
Officials have shut down a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 90 east of Ellensburg due to blowing and drifting snow and poor visibility.
"Winds gusting to 30-40 mph across most of Washington will cause blowing and drifting of snow to continue, especially east of the Cascades, on Saturday," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.
I-90 is closed both directions from Kittitas to Vantage due to spin outs and poor visibility.— I-90 Snoqualmie Pass (@SnoqualmiePass) February 9, 2019
Here is a view of a portion of I-90 that is closed right now between Kittitas and the Vantage Bridge. Low visibility and compact snow and ice. pic.twitter.com/Z1jutdVJVJ— WSDOT East (@WSDOT_East) February 9, 2019
6:30 a.m. PST Saturday:
The latest number of customers without power stands at more than 41,000 in Washington, according to poweroutage.us. Most of those waking up in the dark are in Thurston County.
Traffic signals are dark at 3rd Ave and Lenora St. Use caution and treat as an all way stop. pic.twitter.com/6DmR9RpOWR— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) February 9, 2019
6:14 a.m. PST Saturday:
It is not just falling snow clogging roads across the Northwest. Gusty winds will continue to howl across most of Washington and northwestern Oregon on Saturday, leading to blowing snow. That can cause reduced visibility and cover roads that were previously cleared by crews.
Perhaps the most impressive drifting snow video comes from the Ephrata Airport (care of Mirage Engineering) where winds have gusted to 30 mph. We said it before and we'll say it again, drifting snow will be problematic to say the least today over much of central WA. #wawx pic.twitter.com/oIymNmGCtl— NWS Spokane (@NWSSpokane) February 9, 2019
5:52 a.m. PST Saturday:
Latest snowfall reports from the Seattle area include 8.0 inches near Renton, 6.5 inches at Vashon Island and 5.0 inches at Kirkland.
Here’s a video of what we are dealing with near the 4th Ave. bridge. pic.twitter.com/J3v06iD2tc— Olympia Fire Dept. (@OlyFireDept) February 9, 2019
5:22 a.m. PST Saturday:
A total of 7.2 inches of snow has been measured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The last snowstorm to bring this much snow slammed the airport in February 2017, when 7.1 inches was recorded.
More than 150 flights have been canceled so far this Saturday at Sea-Tac, according to FlightAware.
3:25 a.m. PST Saturday:
Power outages are mounting across Washington, with nearly 40,000 customers now without electricity, according to poweroutage.us.
This number is expected to keep rising throughout the morning as heavy snow and gusty winds continue across the state.
3:00 a.m. PST Saturday:
Anyone who must head out on the roadways this morning should be prepared for slow travel due to snow-covered, slippery roadways. Local law enforcement is advising people to stay at home if they can.
2:30 a.m. PST Saturday:
Gusty winds are causing snow to blow and drift across Washington. In Spokane, a wind gust of 31 mph was reported in the past hour.
30-40 mph winds combined with light fluffy snow results in considerable drifting as seen here at the Coeur d'Alene Airport. Conditions like this can be expected over open areas & the resultant road conditions tonight and later today will get hazardous. #wawx #idwx pic.twitter.com/ZPPQUXhOOF— NWS Spokane (@NWSSpokane) February 9, 2019
1:30 a.m. PST Saturday:
The 6.4 inches of snow that fell at Seattle-Tacoma Airport on Friday smashed the daily record of 2.9 inches from 2014.
Several more inches of snow can accumulate in the city through Saturday morning.
Radar loop shows swirl of low pressure approaching the south coast of WA. Moisture will continue to pivot north into the region through the night. Easterly flow near surface may act to enhance the snowfall over spots like Hood Canal & the Kitsap Peninsula in next few hours. #wawx pic.twitter.com/RDNEQ8Tgyl— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) February 9, 2019
Disabled vehicle on NE 45th St at the I-5 overpass. The WB right lane is blocked. Use caution. pic.twitter.com/tbznFFzOQo— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) February 9, 2019
12:25 a.m. PST Saturday:
Seattle recorded 6.4 inches of snow on Saturday, which set a new daily record and was the second most snowfall in a single day in the past 20 years, according to the National Weather Service. The city's highest single day snowfall in the past 20 years stands at 6.8 inches from Jan. 18, 2012.
Local law enforcement is urging people to stay home and off the roads as the winter storm continues.
Just a picture of what’s going on out there. This crash is one of many that troopers have responded to tonight. Luckily there haven’t been many major injuries reported. Roads are covered with snow. Stay home if you can. Drive slow if you’re in the roads. Be safe! pic.twitter.com/0yoYjJHy51— Trooper Rick Johnson (@wspd2pio) February 9, 2019
12:00 a.m. PST Saturday:
Wind gusts have been as high as 55 mph at Bellingham International Airport in Washington.
Nearly 16,000 customers are without power in the state, with most of the outages occurring to the southwest of Seattle, according to poweroutage.us.
11:10 p.m. PST Friday:
Visibility is down to one-half of a mile at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as snow continues to fall.
We've gotten reports of snow covering roadways along I-90. If you have to be out on the road, make sure to slow down and keep your distance from other vehicles. #WAwx #wasnow pic.twitter.com/sqlWlGN4TO— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) February 9, 2019
9:55 p.m. PST Friday:
Conditions continue to deteriorate on the roadways across Seattle as snow continues to fall. Between 3 and 5 inches of snow has been reported across the city so far from the storm.
8:40 p.m. PST Friday:
A polar plunge fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics Washington that was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9, has been moved to Feb. 23 because of the weather conditions.
The New PLUNGE DATE is February 23rd. I was hoping for a true polar plunge but we need to be safe and off the roads. You can still donate - https://t.co/OcBKWlFGnx #SPDintheCommunity #WAWx #SpecialOlympicsWashington— Assistant Chief Adrian Z. Diaz (@adrianzdiaz) February 9, 2019
5:15 p.m. PST Friday:
The heaviest snow in the Seattle Metro area is impacting I-5, I-405, SR-167 and SR-18.
Snow will continue to push east toward Snoqualmie Pass over the next couple of hours.
It is really coming down on SR 167 south of Renton and visibility is definitely an issue. Bends in the road paired with abandoned vehicles can be a dangerous combo. Take it slow if you're out there! @NWSSeattle pic.twitter.com/krCtyHNFbk— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) February 9, 2019
3:30 p.m. PST Friday:
There are reports of accidents and traffic on Highway 101 west of Morse Creek in Clallam County, Washington.
Officials urge motorists to stay off the roadways. Multi-car pileups can quickly turn a large roadway into a parking lot of smashed vehicles and twisted metal.
2:45 p.m. PST Friday:
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency in preparation of the winter storm.
Officials are encouraging everyone to avoid traveling due to bad road conditions.
I have declared a state of emergency in preparation for this #wasnow winter storm. Everyone in WA needs to focus on preparing for the snow and staying safe. I encourage everyone to stay off the roads if possible and plan ahead if you must travel. #wawxhttps://t.co/xYASWWmLS9— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) February 8, 2019
1:30 p.m. PST Friday:
Heavy snow is falling in Tacoma, Washington, which is causing slick travel and traffic on Interstate 5.
Big backups on I-5 in Tacoma as the snow starts coming down hard. Lots of people heading home early pic.twitter.com/zfFLVN0uzM— Kevin McCarty (@KevinKIRO7) February 8, 2019
11:30 a.m. PST Friday:
Pierce County, Washington, allowed employees to leave work early today, so they are able to get home before road conditions deteriorate.
In the interest of their safety, Pierce County is allowing employees to leave early this afternoon so that they can commute home before the weather worsens. Administrative offices will remain open the normal hours but we apologize for any potential disruption. #wasnow #wawx— Pierce County, Wash. (@PierceCo) February 8, 2019
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Los meteorólogos esperan que este sea un patrón débil y poco significativo