Icy roads greet morning commuters as frigid weather sets in

Icy roads greet morning commuters as frigid weather sets in
YouNews contributor "Villalonga" submitted this photo Monday morning of a snowy road in Wishkah, Wash., in Grays Harbor County.
SEATTLE -- Snow that fell across the region over the weekend turned to ice on many area roads Monday morning as arctic are moved into Western Washington.

Most of Western Washington, including the Seattle area, isn't expected to get above freezing at least through next Sunday.

The week ahead could go into the record books as the longest stretch of freezing weather since the arctic blast of December 1990.

The hazardous driving conditions forced many area schools to delay classes (see complete list), and state and local transportation crews were busy overnight putting sand and de-icer on the roads.

There were no major accidents and traffic was moving smoothly on major freeways, but side streets in many residential neighborhoods were covered in ice.

The blast of frigid weather was being caused by strong high pressure over British Columbia that was squeezing arctic air southward into Washington and Idaho.

he low temperature at Sea-Tac Airport dropped to 19 degrees at 4 a.m. Monday, breaking the old record of 20 for the date set in 1964, and Hoquiam tied its record low of 25, set in 1967.

In Whatcom County, lows could drop into the single digits, accompanied by strong gusty winds. A High Wind Warning is in effect until early Monday morning for gusts as high as 60 mph. Strong winds were also forecast for the western Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Cascade foothills, where gusts could reach 40-45 mph.

Despite mostly sunny conditions over the next two days, daytime high temperatures will struggle to reach freezing.

And more snow could fall on Wednesday as a disturbance moves through the region, possibly bringing widespread accumulations of 3-6 inches.

Forecasting models have been consistent in bringing another reinforcing blast of arctic air in that storm's wake for Thursday and Friday, and it could be even colder than the frigid temperatures forecasted for earlier this week.

Long range models then hint at a few periods of potential heavy snow again into the weekend before, and week of Christmas.