The Seattle area woke up to about two to five inches of snow on the ground in King County on Sunday morning. About four more inches of snow is expected to fall throughout the day, and temperatures are expected to dip into the teens on Sunday night.
We’re updating this page with the latest news about the weather and its effects on the Seattle area.
Amid freezing temperatures, Seattle opens additional shelters
Amid a civil emergency and the coldest temperatures in years, outreach to people living in encampments is underway. The city of Seattle also has added four nighttime severe weather shelters, totaling six shelters.
The city previously announced last week space for around 200 people at the Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center and the Compass Center in Pioneer Square. While some of the shelters were open on Sunday evening, all six will be open Monday evening through Wednesday.
Chains required for Snoqualmie Pass
Chains are required for Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 for all vehicles except “all-wheel drive” vehicles, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Sunday night.
The requirement was in effect from North Bend to Gold Creek. The department warned motorists to expect added travel time and delays due to adverse weather conditions.
West Seattle shelter opens doors to local homeless population
Keith Hughes, the commander of the West Seattle American Legion Post 160, has been managing a shelter with limited space for the local homeless population. The staffing shortage has not spared his operation, which is being run entirely through the help of volunteers, he said.
“I hope that in the future, the awareness with the city and the county will include all areas of Seattle, not just the downtown core,” he said.
Around eight people, a mix of regulars and newcomers, stayed at his shelter on Christmas evening. He expects that number to increase as the week continues and temperatures drop.
King County Metro will reduce bus service Monday to Emergency Snow Network
King County Metro will reduce bus service Monday, activating its Emergency Snow Network.
The network, which is comprised of about 60 high-ridership buses, is a lower level of service than Metro’s snow routes protocol, which was in place Sunday.
When buses move to snow routes, they skip some stops and avoid hills. When Metro activates the Emergency Snow Network, some buses don’t run at all.
The network will activate at 4 a.m. Monday. Details about the network are available here.
Seattle Public Utilities cancels Monday pickups
The snow and icy roads have forced Seattle Public Utilities to cancel residential and commercial garbage, recycling and food and yard waste pickups Monday, the utility announced Sunday night. Contractors will attempt to serve priority commercial locations, the utility said.
Monday in Seattle: Free parking
To discourage unnecessary driving in the snow and cold, metered street parking in Seattle will be free Monday, city officials announced Sunday night. In other words: You don’t need to move your vehicle to avoid a parking ticket.
Monday will be “treated as a holiday for on-street parking,” according to a city update. “It will be a free parking day, and time limits will not enforced unless specifically stated.”
King County and Seattle courts closed Monday
King County Superior Court and Seattle Municipal Court will be closed Monday, Dec. 27, due to inclement weather. Scheduled in-custody arraignments will be held at the King County Jail Courtroom.
Snow appears to be leaving Seattle, local winter storm warning no longer in effect
Snowfall looks to be leaving Seattle behind as the weather moves east, according to the National Weather Service.
A winter storm warning remains in effect for southwest Washington, where a cold front pushing in from Canada could meet up with precipitation off the Pacific Ocean for up to 4 more inches of snow through Sunday night.
Temperatures in the Seattle area are still expected to drop into the teens Sunday night, with wind chill that feels as cold as 11 degrees. A little more snow in Seattle is still possible — forecasts predict less than half an inch.
Seattle Children’s closes urgent care sites
Seattle Children’s hospital will close its urgent care facilities at 5 p.m. because of the weather.
Snohomish County closes drive-through testing sites
The Snohomish County Health District will close its drive-through COVID-19 testing sites in Everett and Lynnwood Monday because of snow and freezing temperatures. Information about other testing locations in Snohomish County is available here.
UW Medicine’s Lake Sammamish State Park and Shoreline COVID testing sites closed earlier Sunday because of the weather, as did Auburn’s Outlet Collection vaccine clinic. See other King County vaccine and testing locations here.
This map shows Seattle snowplowing updates
Wondering about whether the snow on the streets in your Seattle neighborhood have been plowed? Check this out.
The city has an online map that shows which streets are closed, which have been serviced and which are due to be serviced. The map is updated regularly.
Red means a street has been closed. Dark blue means that a street has been serviced within the past hour. Medium blue means a street has been serviced 1-3 hours ago. And light blue means a street has been serviced more than 3 hours ago. Yellow means a street is planned to be serviced at some point.
Seattle’s streets are serviced by vehicles with snow plows, salt spreaders and/or de-icing equipment, according to the city’s website.
Busy streets that connect Seattle neighborhoods with downtown and the rest of the region are supposed to be plowed first, particularly when they’re important for getting to major public institutions like hospitals and schools; they’re important for first responders; and they’re important for major employers.
The city doesn’t plow non-arterial streets.
Power outages affect hundreds across Western Washington
Power outages in North Seattle and in Stevens Pass were resolved by Sunday afternoon, but hundreds remain without power in Whatcom, Snohomish and Jefferson counties.
In Whatcom County, Puget Sound Energy showed 2,572 customers without power shortly before 2 p.m., while Snohomish County’s Public Utilities District reported outages impacting 204 people clustered in Snohomish, on Camano Island and along the Mountain Loop Highway near Verlot.
The Jefferson County Public Utilities District reported outages throughout Sunday morning affecting 137 people, 79 of them in or near Port Townsend.
Seattle, King County libraries are closed
All Seattle and King County library branches are closed, as snow continues to fall across the Puget Sound region.
“Due to inclement weather, all library locations will be closed Sunday,” Seattle Public Library said Sunday morning on Twitter, not immediately providing information about Monday operations. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
King County Public Library didn’t post anything on social media but there were no branches open Sunday afternoon, according to the system’s website.
King County Metro buses running on snow routes
King County Metro has switched to snow routes, which is affecting schedules and bus routes.
Metro’s customer call center is open for trip planning help until 5 p.m. today. Call (206) 553-3000.
Washington State Ferries cancels Coupeville-Port Townsend route
Washington State Ferries will close service between Coupeville and Port Townsend Sunday afternoon.
The last route will run from Port Townsend at 4:15 p.m., said spokesperson Suanne Pelley. Tomorrow the ferries will run on “alternate schedules” after 13 workers tested positive for COVID-19 this past week.
Collisions start to pile up, reports WSDOT
The poor road conditions due to winter weather are starting to cause problems on the highways.
As of just before noon on Saturday, several collisions had been reported by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
WSDOT is urging everyone to stay home if possible. For those heading to the Seahawks game tonight, you are urged to ride public transportation.
Flights delayed by an hour, on average, at Sea-Tac
Flights out of Sea-Tac Airport are seeing average delays of about an hour, according to the Port of Seattle.
Airport officials are encouraging passengers to check in with their airlines for flights and cancellations before they head to the airport. The top floor of the parking garage is closed, so travelers should consider taking other routes to their flights, airport spokesperson Kate Hudson said.
Sixty flights out of Sea-Tac are seeing delays and 20 flights have been canceled, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. Each airline is responsible for de-icing its own aircraft, Hudson said.
Power outages in Stevens Pass, Bitter Lake
A power outage has cut electricity to 111 people around Stevens Pass, according to the Chelan County Public Utilities District.
An earlier outage Sunday morning hit 2,943 people in Seattle’s Bitter Lake neighborhood, though Seattle City Light has since restored power to 300 people. Officials are still investigating the cause.
Two UW Medicine COVID testing sites, Auburn vaccine clinic close for weather
Two UW Medicine COVID testing sites in Shoreline and at Lake Sammamish State Park are closed today due to the snowy weather. A vaccine clinic at the Auburn Outlet Collection mall has also closed.
King County testing sites and vaccination clinics were closed Saturday for the Christmas holiday. More information on scheduling vaccines or testing is available here.
Seattle Public Utilities closes transfer stations Sunday
Seattle Public Utilities announced Sunday that it has closed both north and south transfer stations due to unsafe road conditions.
SPU also cautions that the winter weather may result in delays in service for trash, recycle and compost collection. Residents are advised to set out collection carts and leave them out the following day. If they haven’t been collected by the following day, bring them back in and then try again the next day.
Wind chill temperatures drop below zero in Whatcom County
With wind gusting above 50 mph in Bellingham, wind chill temperatures in Whatcom County have fallen into the negatives Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Use caution on the roads Sunday morning
The winter weather is already wreaking havoc on roadways Sunday morning.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is urging people to stay off the roads if possible, but if you must travel today, here are some resources for driving in snow:
Also, for those looking for some snowy outdoor recreation opportunities, please be careful when driving out to the passes, and be discerning about where you park. Read: Don’t be that person who blocks the road so that snow plows can’t get through!
Stay home, WSDOT says
Washington’s Department of Transportation says that drivers should do their best to stay off snowy highways Sunday as a winter storm warning is in effect throughout the Puget Sound.
A serious collision on the northbound I-5 lanes near the Southcenter Mall is currently blocking multiple lanes; a Washington State Patrol trooper was struck, but “will be OK,” according to the Washington State Patrol.
Winter weather shelters are open in Seattle, Snohomish County
With snow blanketing the region and colder temperatures expected overnight, emergency shelters are open for people who need a warm place to escape the cold.
Here’s a full list and map of the winter weather shelters available.
These two overnight shelters are also available:
- Exhibition Hall at Seattle Center, 301 Mercer St. This shelter will be operated by The Salvation Army and is open to adults 18 and older. Pets will be accepted as well, but they need to be nonaggressive and on a leash. The site will be able to hold around 100 people, according to the city.
- Compass Center in Pioneer Square, 210 Alaskan Way S. Open to adults 18 and older. Only service animals will be allowed at this site run by Compass Housing Alliance. The entrance is located at the corner of South Washington Street and Alaskan Way, across from the downtown ferry terminal. The shelter will be able to hold around 80 people.
The Armory at Seattle Center opens to the public at 10 a.m., and the following day shelters for people experiencing homelessness are also open. Here’s a full list of resources from the King County Regional Homelessness Authority.
- The Salvation Army Jefferson Day Center (4th & Jefferson), Every Day, 7:00am – 7:00pm
- Angeline’s Day Center (2030 3rd Ave), Every Day, 8:00am – 6:00pm, women only
- Seattle Indian Center Day Center, (1265 S Main St suite 105), Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:30pm
- Compass Hygiene Center (77 S Washington St.), Monday – Friday, 7:00am – 3:30pm
- Elizabeth Gregory Home (1604 NE 50th St.), Sunday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:30pm, women only
- God’s Lil’ Acre (12521 33rd Ave NE), Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
- Immanuel Community Services (1215 Thomas St.), Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 2:00pm
- Urban Rest Stop
- Ballard (2014-B NW 57th St), Monday – Friday, 6:30am – 2:30pm
- Downtown (1924 Ninth Avenue), Monday – Friday from 5:30pm – 9:30pm and Saturday – Sunday from 8:00am – 3:00pm
- YouthCare Orion Center (1828 Yale Ave), Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 3:30pm – 7:00pm and Saturday from 11:00am – 1:00pm; youth only (ages 12 to 24)
- Mary’s Place Day Center (1830 Ninth Ave), Monday – Friday from 7:00am – 3:30pm; women or women with children only.
Snow expected to taper off Sunday in Seattle, forecasters say
Forecasters at the National Weather Service anticipate that snow will taper off Sunday afternoon and evening in the Seattle area as the cold weather system shifts to the southwest.
Still, the northern Olympic Peninsula — which saw 11 inches of snow Sunday morning in downtown Port Angeles — could get another 6 to 8 inches through Monday morning.
Winter storm warning in effect as Seattle area wakes up to inches of snow
A heavy band of snow blanketed Western Washington overnight Saturday, leaving between 2 to 5 inches of snow on the ground throughout King County Sunday morning.
Snow is expected to continue to fall throughout the day, adding up to another 4 inches throughout the Puget Sound, according to government forecasters.
The National Weather Service observed a low temperature of 27 degrees at Sea-Tac Airport Saturday night, but temperatures are expected to dip throughout the day and drop as low as 18 degrees Sunday night.
Whatcom County and the northern Olympic Peninsula saw the most snowfall overnight: Downtown Port Angeles saw 11 inches of snow, while Bellingham is reporting up to 8 inches with wind gusting up to 52 mph.
A weather system moving into Western Washington is filtering in enough cold air to make snow possible in an area that typically doesn’t see too much of it. Waking up to the snow stuck to fire escapes and front steps, Seattleites started posting a flurry of snow day photos to Twitter.
Scenes from a snowy Seattle
All over the Puget Sound region, people woke up to a white, winter wonderland on Sunday morning. Here’s a look at snowy scenes from around the city.