News

San Juan Island's first snow of the season has arrived

Islanders awakened to a winter wonderland this morning.

The first snow of the season fell overnight, and snow showers were likely this morning and this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

While the islands escaped much of the high wind and gusts that had been forecast, the National Weather Service was still forecasting a northeast wind of 20-30 mph, with gusts of up to 50 mph. Snow accumulation of 1 inch and highs in the mid 20s to lower 30s were expected.

Tonight, expect partly cloudy skies with lows between 14-21, and a northwest wind of 20-30 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Monday, it will be mostly sunny with highs in the 20s to lower 30s and a northwest wind of 20-30 mph. Snow is likely on Wednesday.

At Roche Harbor this morning about 7, the weather station at the airport was reporting a temperature of 27 degrees and light snow, with wind speed of 15 mph from the northeast and wind gusts of up to 25 mph.

At Friday Harbor this morning about 7, the weather station at the airport was reporting a temperature of 27 degrees and a wind chill of 15 degrees, with light snow and 16 mph wind from the northeast and wind gusts of up to 21 mph.

For latest updated weather forecasts, CLICK HERE.

Travel recommendations
If you plan to be on the road -- on island or on the mainland -- during this storm, consider these recommendations from the Washington State Department of Transportation, or WSDOT:

-- On ice and snow, take it slow.
-- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely. It's not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation just to save time.
-- Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots. These all have potential to develop black ice that makes driving hazardous.
-- Plan extra time to cross all mountain passes, including heavily-traveled routes such as I-90 Snoqualmie Pass, US 2 Stevens Pass, and US 12 White Pass.
-- Carry chains and know the traction and chain requirements. Mountain pass traction and chain requirements are available on highway advisory signs and highway advisory radio. When those advisories call for chains, drivers who don't chain up will face a $500 penalty.

WSDOT is now offering mountain pass reports via e-mail and text messages to cell phone and Twitter.

WSDOT offers subscribers more than 25 specialized e-mail alerts, including news and information for freight haulers, construction related traffic revisions, project updates from all around the state, and timely updates on pass conditions.

Users can also choose to receive e-mail alerts as text messages on their cell phone or other wireless device (Note: Most wireless carriers allow for text e-mail messages at some additional cost, so check your wireless carrier for pricing details).

Visit WSDOT at wsdot.wa.gov and click the link for “E-mail updates.” After entering your e-mail address, you’ll have access to a menu of options from which you can choose the news and information that you want to receive by e-mail or text message.

Twitter users can add WSDOT to their personal accounts at: wsdot.wa.gov/news/. Pass conditions are available by texting from any mobile device or via Twitter. Go to wsdot.wa.gov/inform/twitter for more details.

Real-time traffic information and weather is also available at wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 5-1-1. Go to wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs.

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