the Tri-Cities was under a windy warning until 9 p.m. Friday, with gusts of up to 55 mph forecast.
Sustained speeds of 25 to 34 mph were predicted by the National Weather Service in the early evening, dropping to 17 to 22 mph overnight. Night gusts of up to 33 mph were expected.
Fortunately, the warmer weather on Friday was melting and compacting the snow, the weather service said.
“This limits the potential for blowing and blowing snow,” he said in a discussion of the wind advisories issued for the entire Lower Columbia Basin and the Blue Mountain foothills.
“The main impacts will be sudden gusts that will cause driving difficulties for large-scale vehicles and loose objects that could fly away,” he said.
Outdoor holiday decorations not yet disassembled could end up in neighboring yards. And power outages are possible, the weather service said.
Friday was should be the hottest day in the Tri-Cities at least Thursday, with a maximum of 47 expected in the Tri-Cities on Friday.
The high is expected to cool to around 40 on Saturday, then in the 30s until at least next Thursday.
Overnight minimums are forecast in the 1920s from Saturday evening to Tuesday evening.
No more snow is expected over the next seven days in the Tri-Cities, but the community on Friday was still grappling with the snow and ice from the latest storm.
The Kennewick station which reports snow totals to the weather service reported a maximum of 5 inches of snow on the ground over the past week, with some people around the Tri-Cities reporting a little more snow.
Snowfall at Kennewick station so far this snow season has totaled 6.3 inches. The average total of fall and winter snowfall since 2000 is 8.1 inches.
The North Franklin School District remained closed on Friday. The Columbia School District in Burbank, the Prosser School District and the Kiona Benton City School District started classes two hours late.
Ben Franklin Transit continued to have interrupted service due to snow and icy roads.
Changes were announced until noon on Route 20 at Grosscup Boulevard and 62nd Avenue in West Richland; on Route 110 to Canyon and Steptoe in South Richland; and on Route 123 at Gage Boulevard and Kapalua Avenue in South Richland.
Washington State Travel
Travel through Washington state remained nearly impossible on Friday, with snow or flooding closing the roads that connect the Tri-Cities and Seattle.
highway 90 is not scheduled to open through the Cascade Mountains until Sunday. A 70 mile stretch from North Bend to Ellensburg is closed.
Stevens, White and Blewett passes also remained closed on Friday.
Conditions have been too dangerous for road crews to work in some areas as snow and debris continue to slide down the freeways, the Washington State Department of Transportation said.
The department expected to spend Friday sorting out avalanche issues, then spending Saturday plowing and treating roads, clearing snow signs, and clearing trees and debris from roads.
“We recognize the importance of these corridors, but nothing is more important than the safety of our crews and the public,” the ministry said.
Add to travelers’ problems, a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in Lewis County between Grand Mound and southern Chehalis was closed due to rising flood waters from the Chehalis River.
That means driving the Columbia River Gorge, now that Highway 84 has reopened east of Portland and then heading north on I-5 to reach the Seattle area is not an option.
There are no good detours for the closed stretch of I-5 and the floodwaters are not expected to recede until Sunday, according to the state Department of Transportation.
The start of spring semester classes at Washington State Pullman University has been delayed due to interstate road closures.
Monday and Tuesday classes have been canceled at Pullman, but classes will take place as scheduled at WSU Tri-Cities.
This story was originally published January 7, 2022 11:47 a.m.