Mother Nature has one thing on her mind. Snow, and a lot of it.  The winter weather advisory for the northern Blue Mountains is now a Winter Storm Warning and is in effect until 3 pm Thursday.  Total snow accumulation will range from 8 to 14 inches.  Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories have been issued for mountains in Washington and Oregon.  The roads are snow-covered and slick.

As of 11 am Wednesday, Snoqualmie Pass was closed Eastbound at milepost 34, near North Bend due to many spinouts and crashes.  As far as restrictions Westbound, chains are required on all vehicles, except all-wheel drive, oversize vehicles prohibited.

Courtesy of WSDOT
Courtesy of WSDOT

Before you travel, make sure your vehicle is equipped with the following.

Winter kit

This is the first of two winter storms to hit the Pacific Northwest in the next few days.  If you're planning to travel through the mountains, it's best to know the conditions before you go.  A great source is WSDOT.  For Oregon road conditions, please visit Tripcheck.  Both sites have travel information, cameras, weather alerts, and safety information.

There are some winter driving tips, courtesy of WSDOT that you may find useful.

  • Drive for conditions: slower speeds, slower acceleration, leave extra space between vehicles, give yourself more time and space to stop
  • Check to see if you have traction tires & chains
  • Know what the traction and chain requirements mean
  • Watch a video to learn how to install tire chains
  • Do not use cruise control
  • Four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice
  • Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. And remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, offramps, bridges, or shady spots
  • If you find yourself behind a snowplow, slow down and give the plow a little extra room
  • Slow down and be extra cautious near the chain-up and removal areas. There are often people out of their vehicles
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