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November 20, 2014 at 8:51 PM

Heavy mountain snow expected; I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass reopens

Update at 8:20 p.m.: Eastbound Interstate 90 near Snoqulamie Pass has reopened. The transportation department estimates the roadway will close and reopen throughout the night.

Update at 7:32 p.m.: Eastbound Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass has closed because of heavy snow and disabled vehicles blocking the roadway.

Update at 6:15 p.m.: Both directions of Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass have reopened.

The current estimated travel time from North Bend to Ellensburg is 137 minutes.

Update at 5:35 p.m.: Eastbound Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass has reopened, but chains are still required on all vehicles.

Update at 4:45 p.m.: Westbound Interstate 90 is closed at Ellensburg and eastbound is closed at the Snoqulamie Summit  while vehicles and snow are cleared.

The roadway should reopen at 6 p.m., the Washington State Department of Transportation said.

The transportation department reported multiple collisions and heavy snow on the roadway.

Update at 3:45 p.m.: Traction tires are now required over Stevens Pass because of compact snow and ice on the roadway, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

At Snoqualmie Pass, chains are required on all vehicles except those with all-wheel drive.

Another four to eight inches of snow is forecast in the Cascades, the National Weather Service said Friday afternoon.

Update at 6:15 a.m.: Traction tires were being advised over icy Stevens Pass early Friday and drivers crossing the Cascades were advised to prepare for snow that could fall as much as an inch an hour through Friday and into Saturday.

At 6 a.m., there was ice on the surface of Highway 2 on Stevens Pass and freezing rain was falling. Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass was bare and wet. Twelve to 16 inches of snow could fall in the mountains by Saturday morning, according to the Weather Service.

Stevens Pass, at about 4,000 feet, could get about three inches during the day Friday, another 11 inches overnight and four more inches on Saturday, said Ni Cushmeer, Weather Service meteorologist.

Snoqualmie Pass, about 1,000 feet lower, may get about an inch on Friday, a couple of more inches overnight and – if a convergence zone develops in the area – another six or seven inches Saturday, Cushmeer said.  Heavier snow is expected in the Mount Baker area.

North Central Washington towns, including Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Omak,  are also expected to get snow.

Travelers heading over the passes at the Cascade crest will “certainly encounter heavy snow,” the weather service said. For information on pass conditions, go to wsdot.com/traffic/passes.

Original post: Western Washington will be windy and wet Friday but should avoid the snow forecast for the Cascades and other parts of the region.

A Pacific storm is expected to bring in heavy rain and gusty winds in the Puget Sound region, according to the National Weather Service. A quarter-inch to a half-inch of rain is possible in Seattle during the day and evening Friday.

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Friday morning through Saturday in elevations above 4,000 feet in the Cascades from King County to the Canadian border. Up to 14 inches of snow could fall in some locations, including Stevens Pass and the Mount Baker ski area.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from noon Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday for the east slopes of the Northern Cascades, including Leavenworth, Twisp and Winthrop, according to the weather service. Twelve to 20 inches of snow is forecast in the mountains and at the passes beginning shortly after noon Friday and intensifying Friday evening.

 

Comments | More in Weather Beat | Topics: mountain passes, National Weather Service, snow

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