After an icy morning, warm-up brings rain to W. Wash.

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by KING5.com and Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on December 14, 2009 at 7:36 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 8 at 10:09 PM

SEATTLE – The weather is slowly warming up and snow it turning into rain in most areas, and while most of Western Washington as just seeing cold rain Monday night, the mountains could still see several inches of snow overnight.

An avalanche warning was issued for the mountains and is likely to remain in effect through much of Tuesday.
Steady snowfall mixed with blustery winds at Snoqualmie Pass made visibility tough, and DOT called extra crews in to stay ahead of the foot of snow expected to fall overnight.

But problems aren't limited to just the passes.

Freezing rain was falling over the west approaches to the passes at relatively low elevation locations such as Gold Bar and North Bend. The most consistent freezing rain fell just to the east of these two communities.

Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands experienced a mixture of rain and snow.

The strong difference in air pressure across the Cascades will also generate gusty winds in locations such as North Bend, Enumclaw and communities just north of Bellingham.

Icy roads cause trouble

The Washington State Patrol dealt with several minor accidents between Marysville and Skagit County Monday morning.

In Snohomish County, a sheriff's deputy who was pursuing a reckless driver spun out on the icy road. The pursuit began at about 108th St. SE at the Bothell-Everett Highway and continued north of Bothell.

The patrol car slid on a patch of ice and went off the roadway. The deputy was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and the suspect got away.

Icy, and in some areas slushy, roads were making travel treacherous in Whatcom and Skagit counties to the north and Thurston and Lewis counties to the south.

And in many areas across Western Washington, the lesser travelled roads and some of the overpasses were slick.

Many schools were running late due to road conditions. Click here for school closings and delays

More snow in the mountains, E. Wash.

A winter storm warning is in effect from 4 p.m. today through Tuesday at 6 p.m. for heavy snow for the Olympics, the Cascades and passes. Up to 2 feet of snow is possible.

A Pacific storm will bring heavy snow to much of Eastern Washington and north Idaho tonight through Tuesday evening. A two-part storm will bring the threat of widespread heavy snow to the Inland Northwest.

High winds on Ore. Coast

The eastbound lanes of Interstate 84 between Rowena and The Dalles, Ore. were closed for over an hour Monday morning following multiple accidents on the icy six-mile stretch of freeway.

While responding to one of the crashes an unoccupied Oregon State Police patrol car was struck by an out-of-control car as the trooper was checking on a previous crash. It was the second OSP patrol car struck during the last 48 hours by vehicles losing control in the icy Columbia River Gorge area.

In the greater Portland area, rain is likely in this afternoon, with high temperatures between 40 and 45 degrees.

A frontal system will bring high winds to the Oregon Coast tonight, with southerly winds between 30 and 40 mph, gusting above 60 mph.

A mix of rain, freezing rain and snow is possible in the Columbia Gorge.

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