Second Weekend Storm: more Snow, High Avalanche Risk in Mountains, Heavy Lowland Rain

For the second morning in a row, a soggy, blustery storm is pounding Washington, sending another round of heavy wet snow to the Cascades – and keeping the avalanche risk high on the west slopes.

Saturday’s storm made travel over Snoqualmie Pass tough, especially on I-90 where WSDOT intermittently closed the busy freeway (all the way back at exit 34/Truck Town at one point) to deal with multiple spinouts and avalanche control work. The Summit at Snoqualmie reported a foot of new snow.

More of the same is possible Sunday, January 17, 2016. Drivers should bring their patiences if traveling to eastern Washington or hitting the ski slopes. Early Sunday road conditions were still pretty decent over Snoqualmie Pass, where it was 29 degrees and the roadway was bare and wet, with snow, slush, ice in places.

Forecasters say this latest storm has tapped into some subtropical moisture and is also bringing some breezy conditions, with wind gusts in the mid-30’s possible. Due to the milder air, snow levels could rise and fall in the mountains on Sunday, with rain and 3-7 inches of snow expected.

Avalanche Danger High in Cascades

Outdoor enthusiasts are warned to stay out of the backcountry of the Cascades due to High avalanche danger. That warning includes all the west slopes of Cascades –  from Mt. Baker down to Mt. Rainer.

According to the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC):

Backcountry travel in avalanche terrain along the Cascade west slopes is not recommended on Sunday due to a variety of avalanche problems. An avalanche warning has been issued for the Cascade west slopes for Sunday with High danger forecast for all three elevation bands.


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