A windy winter storm socked much of the Pacific Northwest with rain and snow Friday, while searchers off the coast of New England were encouraged by diminishing winds and swells as they looked for six crewmen missing from a cargo ship that sank Wednesday in heavy seas.
Rain was widespread over western Washington state and Oregon, the National Weather Service said, while snow spread from the Cascades into the western part of Montana.The National Weather Service said Astoria, Ore., was hit with 2.98 inches of rain by Friday morning, including 2.7 inches that fell on Thursday, setting a record for the date. Winds gusted early Friday to 60 mph at Astoria and Seaside, Ore.
Another 2.43 inches of rain was reported at Quillayute, Wash., and Olympia, Wash., received 2.38 inches.
Clouds and isolated rain were reported over southern Texas and Louisiana, and snowshowers were scattered over the upper Mississippi Valley and northern Great Lakes region, forecasters said. Snowshowers also lingered over parts of northern New York state.
Dense fog developed over the central Florida peninsula late Thursday, and an advisory for the fog was in effect early Friday.
In the Northeast, off Nantucket, the Coast Guard Cutter Tamaroa and a C-130 airplane searched an area early Friday 200 miles north to south and 90 miles east to west for the six missing crew members of the Cypriot-registered Lloyd's Bermuda, which flipped over Wednesday in 25-foot seas.
"The weather has improved - the winds are only 25 knots and seas have died down to 10 feet, it's overcast, but it's not raining," said Lt. Mike Humphreys of the Coast Guard's Boston station, which was coordinating the rescue effort Friday.
"It's tough to speculate whether they're alive but we're still optimistic about their survivability in the raft," Humphreys said.
Four of the 11 crew members aboard were rescued, but one of those died a short time later at a Cape Cod hospital. The body of another crewman was spotted floating in the ocean Thursday afternoon.
Winter storm warnings were posted Friday for northeast Oregon and the west central Idaho Mountains as storms moved into the area.
Snow was spreading a layer of white across western Montana, the weather service said. Kalispell reported 7 inches of snow on the ground, and Missoula measured a little over 2 inches. Gusty winds also plagued the area.
High pressure dominated from the Atlantic coast into the central Plains, resulting in generally fair weather over much of the nation Friday.
Temperatures hovered around the zero mark over the northern Plains, the upper Mississippi Valley and northern New England. Frost or freeze advisories were issued for the valleys of Central California and the southern deserts of Arizona.