Freezing temps, ice on tap for Western Washington

Freezing temps, ice on tap for Western Washington
Greenwater, Washington. Dec. 7, 2013.

SEATTLE - It was a beautiful, yet bitterly cold weekend. Western Washington saw freezing temperatures with overnight lows bottoming out in the teens and single digits in some places.

Seattle saw lows of 19 degrees, Olympia marked 15 degrees, and Bellingham met 12 degrees. By comparison, those in Eastern Washington saw overnight lows ranging from of -11 to -3.

The winter blast penetrated bundled layers but not spirits for holiday shoppers and winter lovers who braved the cold Saturday. People waited more than 10 hours outside the Downtown Nike store for the release of Gary Paton sneakers, and the line to see Santa at Westlake Center had a wait of more than 3 hours.

The freeze attacked the comforts of home for some, bursting pipes and leading to several fires.

A family in Renton whose house caught fire Saturday afternoon say an electrical issue inside their home's heater touched off the fire.

Fire crews arrived in Redmond to contain a busted water line. A firefighter responding to the call injured his leg when a wall of the apartment gave way. And in North Seattle, firefighters struggled to contain a pipe that burst, leaving 6 units uninhabitable. In Bellingham, Meridian High School has canceled classes on Monday because a busted pipe.

Burn bans were issued throughout the region. A Stage 1 burn ban was elevated to a Stage 2 Snohomish counties, and a Stage 1 burn ban was issued for King County, and remains in place for Pierce County. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says the point of the burn bans are to reduce unhealthy air that is usually created by excessive wood smoke.

Sunshine lasted all day Sunday, with reports of light flurries in some coastal communities.

A few more pulses of moisture rotate into Western Washington on Monday afternoon, and the air will still be cold enough so any showers falling will come down as snow.  However, the atmosphere doesn't look wet enough to support much precipitation, so at this point the snow looks light and scattered.

Tuesday will be a real transition day, and it will probably be a messy one.The cold, dry air mass at the surface will become overun by warmer, moist air above.