Weather service updates storm forecast
Snow began falling in Skagit County shortly before 8 a.m., and the National Weather Service says more is on the way, along with strong winds.
The latest forecast from the weather service’s Seattle office is for western Skagit County to see more intense snowfall begin around noon.
A winter storm warning is in effect for western Skagit County from noon Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday, during which time the weather service says travel may be “very difficult” due to 4-6 inches of snow and wind creating visibility issues.
Eastern Skagit County is under a winter weather advisory now through Saturday afternoon, during which time high elevation areas could see 6-10 inches of snow.
The weather service says roads, such as Highway 20, could be covered in snow and slippery during that time.
The updated forecast calls for less snow accumulation than was expected as of Thursday, and the heaviest snowfall is expected between 3 and 10 p.m. Friday.
Combined with wind in the 20 to 40 mph range and gusts up to 60 mph, the region could also still see power outages. A high wind warning is in effect for 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday.
The strongest winds are expected Saturday night, according to the high wind warning.
The state Department of Transportation has crews at the ready to plow and spread sand and salt as needed.
Several schools have announced early closures for Friday, and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is operating Friday with essential personnel only.
Skagit Valley College and Sedro-Woolley School District schools will all close early, between about noon and 1 p.m.
The Anacortes, Conway and Mount Vernon school districts are operating on normal schedules.
Meanwhile, cold weather shelters are available in Anacortes, Concrete and Mount Vernon.
Low temperatures are forecast to remain primarily in the 20s through Monday, although Sunday lows may dip into the teens. Highs are forecast in the mid-to-high 30s.