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More snow expected tonight, Monday on San Juan Island
Snow kept many islanders hunkered down in warm homes over the weekend, as a storm blanketed the region.
The storm caused Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines to cancel all flights Sunday afternoon. The state Transportation Department closed Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass and State Route 14 through the Columbia River Gorge because of high winds, snow drifts and zero visibility.
On the mainland, transportation officials were advising drivers to stay off the roads tonight. And in the San Juans, public safety officials were advising islanders to stay off the roads if at all possible.
At 7 p.m. Sunday, it was 30 degrees at Friday Harbor Airport with a 5 mph wind from the north. The National Weather Service forecasted 2 to 4 inches of snowfall tonight, with lows in the 20s and a northeast wind of 10 to 15 mph.
Monday, weather conditions are expected to improve. It will be cloudy with a chance of snow showers, with highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s and a north wind of 10 to 15 mph.
Monday night, it will be mostly cloudy with lows in the 20s and a northeast wind of 10 to 15 mph shifting to the southeast after midnight.
Tuesday, it will be partly sunny with a chance of snow showers, highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s and a southeast wind of 10 to 15 mph. Tuesday night, snow is likely with lows in the mid 20s to lower 30s and a south wind of 10 to 15 mph.
Wednesday, expect snow and rain with highs in the upper 30s. At night, showers are like with lows around 30.
Christmas Day, showers are like with highs in the mid 30s. But the National Weather Service is predicting a chance of rain and snow that Christmas night and Friday.
Saturday, rain is likely but the temperature will be in the lower 40s.
The San Juan County and Town of Friday Harbor Emergency Management Office issued the following winter weather tips.
1. Use Common Sense: As is always the case, please keep an eye on your neighbors, friends, and family. Check in with weather forecasts periodically.
2. Take precautions to keep your pipes from freezing, including:
-- Keep a steady drip of water running from the faucets located furthest from where your water enters your house.
-- Keep cupboard or other doors open to expose pipes to indoor heat.
-- Keep indoor heat on, even during vacations.
-- Insulate pipes, particularly those on north walls.
-- If your water stops running, your pipes are likely frozen.
-- Use care as things thaw, and know how to shut your water off in case major leaks develop.
-- If you aren't at home, have someone set up to keep an eye on your house, especially if the power goes out.
3. If you need a portable heater to help stay warm inside, follow these precautions:
-- Be extremely wary of fire, keeping your heater well clear of all flammable materials.
-- Be sure to use a heater according to the manufacturer's instructions.
-- Make sure portable heaters are set on a firm, steady base.
-- Use fuel-burning space heaters only with adequate ventilation.
-- Electric space heaters should be properly grounded. Make certain they are plugged into a circuit that can handle the load.
-- Never use a gas stove, electric range, or a charcoal grill as a heater.
-- Only use fuels for which your space heater has been designed.
4. If snow should fall or the sidewalks and roads turn icy, keep the following in mind:
-- Walk carefully on ice. Every time snow or ice falls, multiple islanders end up in the hospital due to falls. Be careful.
-- Don't drive unless absolutely necessary.
-- Please don't drive on roads that have yet to be plowed. This only makes it harder for the road crews.
-- Remember, road crews can't clear private roads. Neighborhoods with private road access should have a plan in place to clear as needed.
-- If your car becomes stuck, try to get it as far off the road as possible. Cars left in the roadway may be moved or towed by emergency responders.
5. And finally, some winter driving tips, courtesy of the state Department of Transportation:
-- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights -- even the hood and roof -- before driving.
-- Pay attention. Don't try to out-drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
-- Leave plenty of room for stopping.
-- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows -- stay back at least 200 feet.
-- Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Don't stomp on the brakes. It takes more time to stop in adverse conditions.
-- Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle. Remember that your four-wheel drive vehicle may help you get going quicker than other vehicles but it won't help you stop any faster. Many 4x4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop.
-- Don't get overconfident with your 4x4 vehicle's traction. Your 4x4 can lose traction as quickly as a two-wheel drive vehicle.
-- Don't pump anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, do not pump brakes in attempting to stop. The right way is to "stomp and steer."
-- Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
-- Go slow! Drive according to conditions.
For the latest updated weather forecasts, CLICK HERE.
For the latest mainland road conditions, CLICK HERE.