EVERETT -- At the state road office here, trucks recently finished delivering more than 100 tons of salt. If Washington experiences a heavy winter, assistant WSDOT superintendent John Tellesbo could have to order.
“We could go through more than this,” he said.
Tellesbo has done it all, spending many seasons driving plow trucks. He knows where the “hot spots” are when it comes to snow and ice.
One place the drivers based at this maintenance office keep a close eye on is the intersection of the so-called Boeing freeway, where State Route 526 comes into I-5. At that location, the road surface is above 400 feet elevation. Highway nine through Clearview tops 500 feet, and it's these places where snow and ice often first appears.
The Everett office covers the convergence zone, one of the wackiest weather areas in the state where a single system is capable of everything from lowland snow to icing.
Ten trucks are already carrying liquid deicer and can hook onto plows in 10 minutes. Also ready are two liquid deicing trucks that spray a “de-bonding agent” on the roads ahead of storms in order to keep ice from sticking to the roads.
Friday could see the first round of lowland snow of the season. While Tellesbo said he expects snow levels to come no lower than 1,000 feet, his drivers are ready. He’s seen curve balls before.
“It’s going to get chilly, it’s going to get rainy, and there’s going to be snow in the mountains," Tellesbo said.
According to KING 5 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Renner, an onshore flow on Friday is likely to generate a Puget Sound Convergence Zone. That means showers will be most likely -- heaviest in north King county and Snohomish County. Moderate to heavy rain showers are likely there, possibly mixed with ice pellets or even wet snow. In heavier showers, wet snow is possible as low as 500-to-1000 feet, mainly in the afternoon. Renner said 6-to-12 inches of snow could fall in the Cascades.