Washington State Transportation officials fear that Thursday’s round of winter weather could increase avalanche danger and could lead to mountain pass closures.
The National Weather Service is calling for up to eight inches of snow to fall in the mountains by Wednesday night with another seven inches by Thursday morning. Then, the snow should switch to a rain and snow mix and a wet snow mix by Thursday night into Friday morning.
WSDOT officials said the warmer temperatures can cause the snow pack to become unstable and increase the risk of avalanches. They said the last time they saw conditions like this in early February all three mountain passes in the state were closed for more than 24 hours.
WSDOT officials believe if the forecast follows through, there’s a good chance they will have to do the same thing. There’s a chance there will be avalanches, snow slides and crews will have to do avalanche control work. They are urging people to be proactive in their travel plans.
Crews said if you can, try to postpone your trip over the mountains until later in the weekend. If not try to go before Thursday afternoon.