It was fun while it lasted

3-5 inches of snow brings joy to kids, pain to drivers

rboone@theolympian.comFebruary 10, 2014 

That snowman you worked so hard to create with your children is not long for this world.

Several inches of snow blanketed the area Saturday night and Sunday morning. But the weather forecast for the Olympia area calls for rain and high temperatures in the mid- to upper 40s.

It was fun while it lasted. But it wasn’t fun for everyone.

Although no major incidents — burst water mains, downed trees, significant power outages — were reported Sunday, the snow was tough on some drivers throughout the region, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Trooper Guy Gill said via his Twitter feed that troopers in District 1 — Pierce and Thurston counties — responded to more than 200 weather-related accidents in a 16-hour stretch.

“Remember to adjust your driving for the road conditions,” Gill said in one tweet. “Speed + Snow = crash. Slow + snow = good to go.”

Not everyone heeded Gill’s command; in addition to multiple accidents, the State Patrol also was busy towing and impounding vehicles left on the side of the road.

The Olympia area set a snowfall record for Feb. 8, accumulating 3.2 inches Saturday night, beating the old Feb. 8 record of 3 inches set in 1985.

Here are some Sunday morning lowland snowfall totals for the area:

 • Nisqually: 4.4 inches.

 • South Thurston County: 4.6 inches.

 • Maytown: 5.4 inches.

 • Tumwater: 4.75 inches.

Snow began falling about 5 p.m. Saturday and let up at about 6 a.m. Sunday, said Josh Smith of the National Weather Service.

Some of the area snowfall totals were reported to the National Weather Service by “weather spotters,” volunteers who report weather information to the service, Smith said.

Thurston County is home to 50-100 weather spotter volunteers, although not all of them report all weather events, he said.

Although the Olympia area set a snowfall record for the date, it was far from the snowfall the area received in January 2012.

The region got walloped as 11 inches of snow fell on Jan. 18, 2012, Smith said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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