February 22, 2013 at 7:44 AM
Storm bringing wind, waves and mountain snow
High winds, high surf, steady rain and heavy snow in the mountains are the expected hallmarks of a storm that has already begun moving into Western Washington.
By 8 a.m., some areas along the coast were already recording gusts of 50 mph. Winds that strong are also expected around the Bellingham and possibly as far south as Everett’s Paine Field as the day goes on.
The Seattle area could see gusts of 40 mph with sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, another one to two feet of snow is expected to fall in the Cascades by midday Saturday, and drivers are urged to be prepared for severe conditions. A gradual warming Friday afternoon is expected to increase the chances of avalanches on the Cascades’ western slopes, according to the National Weather Service.
Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass was expected to be closed to traffic about 8 a.m for avalanche-control work that typically takes about 20 minutes to two hours. More closures could be necessary later in the day.
The Weather Service has also issued a “high surf advisory” for the Washington coast through noon Saturday, with breakers that could range from 25 to 29 feet – more than twice the size of what might be considered normal. Waves that size could wash up a beach faster than a person can run, according to the advisory.
Surf experts say while waves will be big, conditions will be too rough for surfing. Micah Sklut of Swellinfo.com said the surf will peak early Saturday morning, but will remain choppy and dangerous.
Deputy Director of Grays Harbor County Emergency Management advised amateur surfers to stay out of the water, and said anyone walking along the beach should remain alert and keep their eyes on the water at all times.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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