Waking to a winter wonderland

Waking to a winter wonderland
Maggie the basset hound enjoys the snow in Lake Stevens.
SEATTLE -- It's a perfect day to go walking in a winter wonderland.

Just watch your step -- and bundle up!

Snow fell across just about the entire Western Washington lowlands Saturday night, giving snow fans a nice surprise when they woke up Sunday morning.

Snow totals ranged from about 2-5" from Snohomish County north to the border and west to Forks, while about 1-2" was common in King County and points south, although foothill areas might have seen a little more. (Feel free to report your snow totals in the commenting section below. Be sure to time stamp your entry.)

You can also see some snow reports from the CoCoRahs Spotter Network. You'll have to set the map to Washington. (And they're still accepting applications if you want to volunteer to join the spotter network.)

A trough of low pressure is lingering in the area today, and that will continue to create a few snow showers at times, but they'll be hit-and-miss. These cells could put down an additional 1-2" accumulation, depending on their intensity.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY remains in effect for all the lowlands through the day Sunday.

In the Puget Sound region, the West Seattle Bridge was closed for about three hours earlier Sunday when about 20 vehicles spun out along the slippery stretch of roadway.

Highway 512 also was closed for a time between 104th Street East and Meridian Street when two semis slid into each other on the icy pavement.

Both of those highways have now reopened.

Wind will be a minor factor in two locations -- up north and over east. A WIND ADVISORY is in effect for the greater Bellingham area through 4 a.m. Monday. This is for the northeast wind that's been roaring out of the Fraser River Valley and gusting non-stop between 35-50 mph since Saturday morning. (The good news is, this has been downgraded from earlier forecasts of 60 mph gusts, so the wind advisory is actually a notch down on the warning rung.)

A WIND ADVISORY also is in effect for the Cascade foothills for a gusty east wind racing to meet this trough of low pressure over western Washington. Wind speeds will generally range from 20-30 mph, gusting as high as 40-45 mph. Most affected areas are places like North Bend, Enumclaw, Gold Bar, and Snoqualmie.

Temperatures today will likely top out around the freezing mark, but wind chills will be in the 5-10 degree range where winds are gusty -- possibly below zero in the Wind Advisory locations.

Sunday night, we start the drying process. With clearing skies, lows will drop to between 13-18.

Monday and Tuesday are both mostly clear but cold, with highs in the 20s and lows in the teens. This is cold enough that you need to protect pipes and pets.

By Wednesday, another weak to moderate system will drop in again from the north, but this time, we'll obviously be cold enough for snow, so we'll have to watch that. It could end up being the best snow maker of this whole ordeal (at least this week). Snow showers would linger into Thursday.

Long range forecasts beyond still keep us cold. They have been hinting off and on of perhaps some widespread, large-scale snows for the weekend before Christmas, perhaps stretching into Christmas week. But this far out, we're sure the details will change. Heck, look at how much the details keep changing now just this weekend.