Wind, snow slows Thanksgiving travel out of Western Washington
While snow is no longer likely to reach the lowlands in Western Washington leading into Thanksgiving, it could still cause problems for travelers moving through the passes.
Snow showers and “gusty winds” have persisted most of the week along the Cascades, with “minor accumulations” near the passes. Snow is heaviest east of the Cascades.
“Plan for a few travel impacts,” warned the NWS on Twitter.
Early Thursday morning, the status for roads through each of the major passes, per the Washington State Department of Transportation:
- White Pass: Overcast skies, slush on roadway
- Stevens Pass: Clear skies, compact snow and ice on roadway
- Blewett Pass: Snowing “hard with strong gusty winds” with “areas of poor visibility”
- Snoqualmie Pass: Overcast skies, roadway is bare and “dry wet” in places
Winds at the Crystal Mountain Summit peaked at 67 miles per hour recently, “increasing steadily since yesterday.”
“Beware of the wind today if you are traveling through the Cascades,” the NWS advised.
Strong winds are also expected for anyone traveling to the northwest corner of Washington, with the NWS warning drivers to prepare for possible downed power lines.
WSDOT expects traffic to get especially heavy eastbound on I-90 beginning around 9 a.m., and continuing to escalate until around 5 p.m., before tailing off into the evening hours. Congestion typically peaks around 2 p.m. for that drive on Wednesday.
For anyone spending Thanksgiving in the Puget Sound region, things are going to get cold, with lows for most mornings sitting in the 20s.