MYNORTHWEST NEWS

What to expect on the drive home with snow in the Cascades

Nov 25, 2022, 3:58 PM | Updated: Nov 27, 2022, 8:58 pm

snow...

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Many motorists will be returning home Sunday after the long holiday weekend and the Apple Cup in Pullman. The weather heading out of town was rather tranquil, but that will not be the case coming home tomorrow, particularly for those driving on Cascade highways.

A strong Pacific frontal system diving southeast from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to move ashore tonight through Sunday, bringing rain to the lowlands of western Washington, but also heavy amounts of snow in the Cascades.

Lowland snow looming for Seattle region early next week

The passes will start out as rain with snow levels near 4,000 feet this evening but tumble to around 1,500 feet overnight and Sunday. Snow accumulations in the passes will pile up to between a foot and a foot and a half by midday Sunday.

Washington State Dept of Transportation (WSDOT) crews will be ready to tackle the onslaught of snow. Yet, given the expected elevated traffic volumes combined with the rate of falling snow, traffic delays are inevitable.

WSDOT reminds motorists that they must carry chains when crossing the Cascades passes and be ready to use them if conditions warrant.

For those returning from eastern Washington, consider Interstate 84 through the Columbia Gorge as a solid alternative to driving any snowy Cascade pass highway. Rain is expected through the gorge and even though the trip is longer in distance, that route will avoid any snow-related delays in the passes.

In western Washington, this incoming weather system will produce rain tonight into Sunday before the precipitation turns to showers with some partial clearing periods during the afternoon, in time for the Seahawks game. Highs will be in the 40s.

This weather system will also usher in the coldest air mass of the season thus far, with snow levels falling below 1,000 feet the rest of the week. High temperatures will struggle to reach even 40 degrees and lows will dip into the 20s to mid-30s.

With this colder air in place, the question then becomes, will there be any moisture to accompany it? The next cool Pacific weather system arriving Tuesday night into Wednesday will offer that moisture and a good threat of lowland snow, with snow levels hovering on either side of 300 to 500 feet.

More details will be forthcoming as this event approaches.

MyNorthwest News

graffiti enforcement appeal...

Bill Kaczaraba

Seattle anti-police protesters awarded $680,000 in First Amendment case

A jury has awarded four anti-police graffiti protesters $680,000 finding that Seattle police officers violated their civil rights.

56 minutes ago

Image: Traffic on Interstate 5 north near Exit 88 at Grand Mound. was backed up for miles due to ro...

Steve Coogan

Roadwork leads to significant traffic backups on I-5 north; work will continue

Roadwork caused significant traffic on I-5 north approaching Grand Mound that at one point extended to more than 20 miles Monday afternoon.

2 hours ago

Bill Nye The Science Guy...

Bill Kaczaraba

Big news for fans of Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’

The Walk of Fame Selection Panel of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has chosen Bill Nye from among hundreds of nominations to get a star.

2 hours ago

woodland park zoo otter...

Frank Sumrall

Otter pup at Woodland Park Zoo dies tragically

Visitors and staff of Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo are mourning the death of one of the baby otters after he died in a tragic accident.

4 hours ago

credit union blowtorch...

Frank Sumrall

Former welder sentenced to 66 months jail after breaking into Tumwater credit union with blowtorch

A man who broke into and burglarized a Tumwater credit union in October 2022 was sentenced to 66 months in prison in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

5 hours ago

tiktok...

Frank Sumrall

TikTok expands office presence in Bellevue despite looming ban

Despite a nationwide ban looming over the company, TikTok continues to expand its footprint in the U.S. by acquiring new office space in Bellevue.

7 hours ago

What to expect on the drive home with snow in the Cascades