Snow forecast for Christmas weekend in County Lewis

By Isabel Vander Stoep / [email protected]

Dreams of a White Christmas could come true this weekend for residents of Lewis County.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts light snow after 4 p.m. on Christmas Day for the Twin Cities, with little to no snow accumulation on the ground, but more snow is likely to follow on Boxing Day and at the beginning of next week.

During busy weekends, that means drivers need to take extra safety precautions, said Ross McDowell, Lewis County deputy director of emergency management, such as keeping chains in the car and charging phones before driving. to drive.

If there is a blockage while the plows are clearing the roads, the vehicles should be filled with food, water and blankets. Plotting alternate routes before you go is also a good idea, McDowell said, but those who stick to major highways such as US Highway 12 shouldn’t have a problem.

“Most passes still allow you to get cell phone coverage, but please do not use your cell phone when driving in the snow. People already have white hands when driving in the snow, ”he said. noted. “And of course: lights on, slow down.”

According to NWS, there is a 90% chance of a 1-4 inch snowfall amount in the Twin Cities this weekend, a 60% chance of 4-6 inches, and a 30% chance of over 6 inches. White Pass is expected to receive 12-18 inches of new snow, and towns in East Lewis County are expected to receive additional winter coverage.

“So we’re going to get it,” McDowell said.

The question is just: how much?

The last white Christmas in Centralia and Chehalis took place in 2017 when, according to the NWS, “trail” amounts of snow blanketed towns overnight on Christmas Eve. Seeing snow in cities in December is a rarity, McDowell said, but it’s a La Nina year. Cold winds from Canada are expected to bring unusual weather conditions, with a drop to 19 degrees forecast for Monday evening.

“It looks like a burr,” he said. “It’s really unusual for us to have this cold.”

Residents should follow cold weather guidelines to protect themselves and their homes, including keeping the heat on and possibly letting faucets drip overnight to prevent pipes from bursting. The hoses should be removed from the fittings and the fittings should be covered with a hose cover or hand towel.

“Make sure you don’t burn something that you aren’t supposed to burn in the fireplace,” he said. “It’s sad, but we always have to tell people, ‘Don’t use any type of propane inside the house.’ It’s a sure-fire way to get in big trouble.

Outdoor pets should be brought indoors, he said, or at least to a garage or outhouse to protect them from wind chill. If dogs are to be kept in a cold garage, hay should be added to their beds for extra insulation, and water bowls should be checked regularly for freezing.

McDowell only recently returned to Lewis County and said he was teased by County Commissioners after predicting a White Christmas earlier this year, so he will be happy if there really is one.

And as long as residents follow the safety recommendations, the vacation should only be enhanced by the beauty of the snow flurries.

“We are very excited about a White Christmas this year,” McDowell said. “With everything that happened in ’20 and ’21, we deserve a white Christmas, we are doing it. Even though it is a little more difficult with travel, people always say “hey, it’s a white Christmas” and they remember it. And it’s a little sunshine for them, no pun intended.

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