November 19, 2012 in City

Holiday travel will see snow over mountain passes

But watch for traffic, especially during peak hours
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Cimonne Woody, left, Jasmine Foxfire and Buck Buckley enjoy the Women’s & Children’s Free Restaurant Thanksgiving meal Saturday at Rogers High.
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Before you hit the road for Thanksgiving, check your route’s traffic and weather condition with reports from the Washington State Department of Transportation.

There is likely to be rain – lots of it – in the days leading up to Thanksgiving with a mix of snow over Snoqualmie Pass through Wednesday. At lower elevations, meteorologists with the National Weather Service expect the common mix of wet and windy weather that typically brews in late November.

At lower elevations, meteorologists with the National Weather Service expect the common mix of wet and windy weather that typically brews in late November.

Even though the weather could cooperate, drivers should prepare for congested traffic during the holiday rush over Snoqualmie Pass on Wednesday, said Washington State Department of Transportation officials. No construction projects have been scheduled during that time. Wednesday drivers should plan to leave before 9 a.m. when heading in either direction across the state to avoid vehicle congestion, which is expected to pick up in the late-morning hours.

The highest volume of traffic is expected between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. heading west on Interstate 90. Drivers heading east can expect stop-and-go traffic over the pass between 2 and 3 p.m.

Vehicle traffic should be light to moderate on Thanksgiving Day, and those levels should continue until early Sunday afternoon, when traffic will slow in both directions.

Highway 2 could be a less-congested route for travel on Wednesday. WSDOT expects few or no backups or delays on the route on Thursday, but traffic will pick up on Friday with traffic congestion around Stevens Pass in both directions. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures on Snoqualmie Pass should remain above the freezing point during the day, so the expected precipitation should be in the form of rain. That could change on Thanksgiving Day, with a mix of rain and snow predicted.

Rain likewise is expected in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, with daytime temperatures through Thanksgiving Day in the 40s.

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