A windy start to the weekend as winter weather hits the northwest
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Eastern Washington experienced fall-like conditions on Friday with temperatures rising above 60 degrees, but it was a very different story on the Pacific coast.
Areas in western Washington saw heavy winds, flooding from nonstop rain, and snow packing the passes as travelers started the weekend. There were several crashes due to icy or wet conditions, causing roads to close. Some areas experienced roads flooded after inches of rainfall.
The Bellevue Police Department issued a warning on social media reminding drivers to not go through high waters. A driver was forced to swim to safety after their car drifted in high waters at the 12,600 Block of SE 7th Place. Authorities reminded followers that the road is currently closed.
We. Are. Not. Joking! Do not drive through high water. Luckily, this driver swam to safety. 12600 Blk SE 7th Pl is CLOSED! Please be careful! pic.twitter.com/Cb1HKYCIdO
— Bellevue, WA Police (@BvuePD) December 20, 2019
Northeastern Washington in the Spokane area also saw high flood waters on roadways.
The storm system moved across the state on Friday, with the Cascades blocking most precipitation from hitting the Columbia Basin and Yakima Valley. The areas saw heavy winds, up to 25 miles-per-hour. Winds will continue through the weekend for Yakima and Tri-Cities, with a chance of scattered showers through Sunday.
The Pacific coast will also continue to see rainfall through the weekend. Seattle and Portland temperatures will rain in the 40’s through Sunday. Rain is expected so travelers should be prepared with umbrellas.
As the winter system moves east through the region, travelers should also expect more snow and rain in the mountain passes. Stevens Pass experienced snow on Friday, adding to the foot of snow they already received earlier in the week. Snoqualmie Pass also experienced heavy snowfall, with the Washington State Department of Transportation working though Thursday night to restore roadways for travelers.
Were you dreaming of a white Christmas? We got one! There&39;s been so much snow on the east side of the North Cascades that today we moved the closure point down to Early Winters Campground at milepost 177. Western closure point remains at the Ross Dam Trailhead at milepost 134. pic.twitter.com/px1VHlTXKg
— WSDOT East (@WSDOT_East) December 21, 2019