In case you haven’t yet looked out your window, the Kitsap Peninsula was hit hard by a snowstorm that began Friday afternoon and lasted picked up its intensity during the overnight hours.
Much of Kitsap County saw at least six inches of snow, with localized reports of as much as 11 inches in Port Orchard. Other places fared much worse. The National Weather Service has reported 16 inches in Sequim and over 21 inches in Port Angeles.
The snow had tapered off by Saturday morning, with another brief round of flurries falling during the early afternoon.
The storm has, as expected, wreaked havoc on the area’s infrastructure. There are a number of road closures throughout Kitsap, including parts of Bethel Burley Road SE in Port Orchard due to downed trees and Chico Way because of snowy, icy conditions. A live list of road closures can be found here.
Power outages in the area have been modest in number, most of which have been reported on Bainbridge Island with a small number of random outages scattered throughout the rest of the county.
National Weather Service forecasts predict the rest of Saturday and Sunday morning to be cold and dry, but another round of snow is expected to move into the area late Sunday afternoon and drop as much as another one to three inches, said Jeff Michalski of the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Accordingly, the Kitsap County Courthouse and County offices will not open until 10 a.m. on Monday to account for bad driving conditions.
And unfortunately, this pattern of cold temperatures and continued Pacific storms doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon.
Northerly winds generated from the Fraser River Valley in British Columbia will continue to bring cold air to western Washington over the next couple of weeks, keeping warmer ocean air that normally dominates this time of year from bringing temperatures back up, turning the typical winter rain into snow.
“What we want is a kickback to onshore flow that would warm up the low level air mass,” Michalski said. “We’re not seeing that in the forecast, that’s why we remain cool and below normal.”
The snowiest February on record at SeaTac airport, where NWS Seattle gets its official measurements, occurred in 1949 when 13.1 inches fell over the course of that month.
As of 9 a.m. Saturday, the storm had dropped 10.6 inches at SeaTac — making it the second-snowiest February on record — and with no let up in sight, the record is certainly in jeopardy.
“I would say the main message here is to be prepared for winter conditions this week,” Michalski said. “It’s not going away.”
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.