Region braces for blast of winter chill

— Okanogan County residents may get their first taste of winter this weekend.

A winter storm watch for the Methow Valley and other parts of north Okanogan and Ferry counties was issued Friday by the National Weather Service, effective through today, Sunday.

The notice called for 5-9 inches of heavy snow above 4,000 feet, and as much as 14 inches above 5,000 feet.

A hazardous weather outlook is predicting a “vigorous storm system” through Thursday with rain, wind and a chance of snow nearly every day.

As of Friday, the chance of precipitation each day was around 20-30 percent, with temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s.

Reactions on the Chronicle’s Facebook page included disbelief, annoyance and excitement.

“Can it please wait another week?” Omak resident Crystal Hammer Newport said.

Riverside resident Bill Bond asked if this means he might actually get a chance to use his new all-terrain vehicle with a snowplow.

Local retailers are already helping residents get winter-ready.

Les Schwab, 712 Okoma Drive, was busy Friday putting studded tires on customers’ vehicles.

Studded tires became legal Nov. 1.

“We’re in full swing right now,” Assistant Manager Robert Engelen said.

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