The next winter blast is expected to hit Western Washington, including the Stanwood-Camano area, overnight Tuesday.
Up to 5 inches of snow is expected to fall in places, according to a winter storm watch issued Tuesday by the National Weather Service in Seattle.
"The forecast has changed rapidly over the last 12 hours — and may change more," forecasters said midday Tuesday. "A band of heavy snowfall is likely to develop over the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound this evening and move north into Canada overnight/Wednesday morning."
Stanwood-Camano School District announced at 6 p.m. Tuesday that schools will be closed on Wednesday. All athletic events are cancelled.
Accumulations overnight could vary significantly throughout the region, according to the Weather Service. Snow may be dense and wet, leading to possible tree damage, power outages and travel impacts into Wednesday morning, forecasters said.
On Wednesday, easterly winds are expected to pick up, gusting to 30 mph in the Stanwood-Camano area — and up to 40-60 mph in the San Juans, Olympic Peninsula area, Whatcom County and in parts of the Cascades, according to the NWS.
Island and Snohomish counties have snow plows and sanding trucks out in force, and will continue to be out overnight focusing on the main roads for commuters, according to county officials.
Officials ask drivers leave room for the sanders and snow plows — stay back at least 200 feet and don't pass on the shoulder.
Check for road closures on the Snohomish County Road Closure Information website. View the map where Snohomish County’s priority snow and ice removal routes are located.
Before heading out, officials recommend commuters check their travel routes and options. For those traveling through unincorporated Snohomish County, visit the Public Works Snow and Ice webpage for snowplow and sander route priorities, and road closure information. The prioritization of snow and ice routes are based on public safety needs, traffic volume, transit and school bus routes, terrain, and knowledge of problem areas.
Since Sunday’s night’s snowstorm, Snohomish PUD crews have restored power to nearly 44,000 customers and continue to work in the field on restoration efforts. Tuesday night's storm could create new challenges and slow efforts, so customers should prepare for potentially lengthy power outages in sub-freezing conditions.
“We prepare all year for storms like this and are ready to continue to deploy crews to all points of our service territory in response to outage reports,” Snohomish PUD CEO/GM John Haarlow said. “Our crews and storm support team members have been working hard to restore power after Sunday’s storm and they will continue to work safely and quickly until every customer is back in power.”
Stanwood-Camano School District closed Tuesday, cancelling all athletic events. Neighboring districts Arlington and Mount Vernon also closed. Lakewood started two hours late. Arlington and most Skagit County schools have already declared at least a two-hour delay on Wednesday.
The Weather Service is forecasting chances of snow through Friday before temperatures are expected to rise above freezing and rain returns.
MAJOR CHANGES— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 14, 2020
*Band of heavy snow is likely to develop over the Olympic Peninsula & Puget Sound this evening & move N tonight
*At this time it appears most snow will fall after the evening commute
*Tree damage, power outages, & travel impacts tonight & WED morning#wawx pic.twitter.com/ZmdZO6rhKs
Want to see where our plows/sanders/deicers are working on unincorporated roads? Check out this cool map. Shows our vehicles in almost real time. This is hard, complex work, and we're grateful to our crews for clearing a path. Please give them room! .https://t.co/Gzu73MiT49 pic.twitter.com/tZmA6Tbsya— Snohomish County (@snocounty) January 14, 2020
Our plows go a max of 35mph when they’re clearing & putting down materials. We are southbound on I-5 right now in @snocounty widening out the left shoulder. A few drivers have been flying up behind us (& our amber lights) having to switch lanes at the last minute. #GivePlowsRoom pic.twitter.com/6RoXHCq8rt— WSDOT North Traffic (@wsdot_north) January 14, 2020
During weather like this, all creatures need access to shelter! Learn more about keeping your pets and livestock safe during cold weather conditions at https://t.co/PyEqP7E5bg pic.twitter.com/RuMVTBIOsk— Snohomish County (@snocounty) January 14, 2020
STRONG WINDS WED— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 14, 2020
Strong E winds are expected to develop across the Cascades, Cascade Foothills, & east Puget Sound lowlands WED Afternoon.
*Dangerous Marine Conditions
*Possible Blowing/Drifting Snow#wawx pic.twitter.com/S7UJPxwxxu