National Weather Service deems Tri-Cities winter abnormal

BENTON-FRANKLIN COUNTIES, Wash. -- It’s a winter for the books.

The National Weather Service reports Tri-Cities experienced unusual temperatures and snowfall in December 2016.

"I've never seen as much snow as we have in the past twenty years. When it snows usually the snow is gone by now," said Melissa Wilson of Benton City.

Action News spoke with The National Weather Service and they said this is abnormal.

"Compared to last year, there’s definitely been a considerable amount of snow. Last year, it looks like we received around 4.5 inches as opposed to 9+ inches this year," said Jim Smith with The National Weather Service.

Experts said over the course of 30 years, the average snowfall in December in Tri-Cities is .04 inches.

But this year, it’s well above that.

"We've plowed over 3,500 miles of city roads. Staff have worked a collective 620 hours. This year we've used over 60 tons of sand material and over 130,000 gallons of liquid deicer to put down- which is more than what we planned for during the winter," said John Millan with Pasco Public Works.

Pasco Public Works said even though they've been thrown a curve ball too with all the snow - they'll use it as a lesson moving forward.

The weather service reports we've also seen colder temperatures this December.

The average was around 28 degrees Fahrenheit—which is five below average.

Experts predict the cold will continue well through January.

Pasco Public Works said they're well-prepared to handle the flurries expected for this Saturday and Sunday.

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