Snow, ice to end winter; windstorm to kick off spring

Snow, ice to end winter; windstorm to kick off spring
SEATTLE -- The passing of the torch from winter to spring Monday is occurring with quite the fanfare.

Winter 2012's last gasp came with -- what else? -- another bout of lowland snow. Light snow fell in many areas overnight, and drivers throughout the Puget Sound area woke up to icy roads as they tried to make their way to work and school Monday morning. Temperatures dropped to 30 degrees in Seattle while in the outlying areas, it got as cold as the mid 20s.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Julie Startup said there were many spinouts and other weather-related crashes on Interstate 5 and Interstate 405. The overpasses and freeway ramps were particularly troublesome for drivers.

By late Monday morning, the snow was mostly done for the lowlands, but as spring prepares to take over the throne at 10:14 p.m. Monday, it's got its own weather coronation up its sleeve.

Clouds will be increasing Monday ahead of our next storm will quickly move during the evening and overnight hours. This storm will be warmer with rain for most (perhaps a quick snow to start in the Hood Canal area) but it'll also feature yet another round of wind.

A High Wind Watch is in effect for the coast and Northwest Interior from 5 p.m. Monday through late Monday night. Wind gusts could reach 60 mph along the coast and 65 mph in the northern interior.

Elsewhere, it'll be a blustery, rainy night with gusts to 30-40 mph.

The mountains will continue to see heavy snowfall, and a Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the Cascades for Monday night and Tuesday. Eight to 24 inches of new snow is likely by Tuesday night.

The weather will remain showery on Wednesday and Thursday. The next few storms will pass by to our south, giving us glancing blows but continued cool and wet weather.

After three weeks of cold and wet conditions in Western Washington, the weather will calm down starting this Friday. The storm track will sink into California, leaving our area without additional storms.

Friday will be partly sunny with a minimal shower chance and highs in the low 50s. Right now the first weekend of spring is looking to be partly to mostly sunny with highs in the low/mid 50s.