Holiday travelers should expect good road conditions on Thanksgiving Day after snow and freezing rain hit the region on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.
Travelers driving along U.S. Route 2 might see some foggy areas on Wednesday and Thursday in north-central Washington. However, travelers returning home on Friday or Sunday could see worsened road conditions in the Idaho Panhandle and in the mountain passes in the Cascades, meteorologist Greg Koch said on Wednesday.
With the exception of a few shaded areas, ice, snow and slush was expected to melt away on Wednesday afternoon as temperatures climbed into the mid-to-high 30s, he said. Temperatures in the Spokane metro region were expected to be average for this time of year, with highs in the upper 30s and lows in the upper 20s, the weather service said.
“There will be two periods of time to watch for, Friday and Friday night, and a potentially more significant system on Sunday or Sunday night that has the potential to produce moderate accumulation in the Cascades or in the Idaho panhandle mountains,” Koch said.
The National Weather Service predicts a 50% chance of snow in the Spokane area on Sunday.
Spokane police spokesman Cpl. Nick Briggs said there were 22 reported vehicle collisions in the city between 5 p.m. on Tuesday and 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning, but no major traffic issues as a result of the weather.
However, Washington State Patrol Trooper Ryan Senger said there were a couple of rollovers and crashes in the areas outside of Spokane as a result of icy roads that persisted on Wednesday morning.
Holiday travel this year was expected to increase by 1.5% from the previous year, making it the third-busiest holiday travel season since 2000, according to AAA. 54.6 million people in the U.S. are expected to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving, with about 49 million of them traveling by vehicle, AAA said. To avoid the worst of the traffic, AAA recommends driving before 11 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on Thursday.
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