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6/11/2008

Storm gusts knock out power to thousands

Washington, USA
High winds knocked out power to at least 18,700 homes in Seattle and South King County late Monday as an unseasonably strong storm blew through the area. Across Western Washington, about 30,000 customers were without power late into the evening. Monday's storms came as Puget Sound-area residents had just begun to thaw out after the COLDEST JUNE WEEK ON RECORD. The average high temperature in Seattle last week was a less-than-balmy 57.3 degrees - nearly two degrees lower than the previous record, set in 1917. That's 10 degrees lower than the normal high for the week, 68 degrees. The National Weather Service issued a gale wind warning Monday evening. The statement cautioned that wind gusts up to 57 mph could drive 6-foot waves during the night. At higher elevations in the Cascade Range, the cold front was expected to bring 5 to 10 inches of snow to mountain passes. Forecasters predicted the snow level would drop to 2,500 feet overnight Monday. The cold, wet weather likely will mean a dusting at Snoqualmie Pass and snow accumulations up to 5 inches at the state's higher passes. "We have a cold front that's coming through, which is obviously UNUSUALLY STRONG. I can't remember a time when we've put out a heavy snow advisory in June." The snow warning for the Cascade and Olympic ranges has forced highway crews to delay mowing grass and return to the mountain passes with snowplows.

RELATED REGIONAL NEWS
OREGON - A wintery storm within a week of summer is producing snow and ice. The southern Blue Mountains can expect 3-5 inches of snow, and the northern Blues could get 6-10 inches. The weather service also issued a hazardous weather outlook for most of Eastern Oregon, and there is a frost advisory in effect into Wednesday night for the Blue Mountains and much of Wallowa County. Baker County could get three to five inches at higher elevations and one to two inches in the valleys.
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An unseasonable snowstorm Tuesday covers flowers and a lawn in a rural yard near La Grande in northeastern Oregon. Trucks were required to chain up and plows were put back in service on Interstate 84 in the nearby Blue Mountains.

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