UPDATE, 1:50 p.m. | Winter storms made roads slick across Eastern Washington Thursday, triggering crashes that left one person dead.
In Spokane, the first snow of the season caused at least 41 collisions. A fatal crash involving a semi-truck and two passenger vehicles occurred around 8:40 a.m. on State Route 2 near Deep Creek.
The collision appeared to have been caused by drivers going too fast for the snowy conditions, Washington State Patrol Trooper Jeff Sevigney said.
Freezing rain coated roads in Walla Walla. Highways were closed, school was canceled and numerous collisions were reported.
Many major thoroughfares in the area were shut down due to unsafe driving conditions.
ORIGINAL POST | The Seattle area can expect showers Thursday morning and highs in the low-50s, according to the National Weather Service forecast.
Mountain passes in the region, including Snoqualmie, Stevens and Blewett, report snow, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. Traction tires are advised and oversized loads are prohibited.
The rain moving into the Northwest is falling as freezing rain in the Columbia River Gorge and other parts of eastern Oregon and Washington where temperatures have been below freezing for more than a week.
The NWS issued a freezing rain advisory Thursday morning for the Gorge and Hood River Valley. Freezing rain also could hit Yakima, the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla.
Forecasters said the freezing rain will turn to just rain by Thursday afternoon. Heavy rain is expected in the Puget Sound area on Friday.