OLYMPIA – Drivers should be prepared for snow and ice across most of the state just as they gear up for holiday weekend travel.
Forecasts call for snow in the Puget Sound area starting Wednesday, with ice possible in many areas as temperatures drop below freezing. Mountain snowfall will continue, and Eastern Washington drivers will see more snow, along with high winds that could create visibility issues and challenging driving conditions included blowing and drifting snow.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) crews are working to keep roadways open and traffic moving, but no one can guarantee ice- and snow-free roadways.
Drivers should check local weather reports and the WSDOT website before leaving home and make sure their vehicle is equipped with winter weather supplies, including tire chains. For winter driving tips, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter.
WSDOT also offers information on when to expect heavy traffic over routes such as I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass, US 2 over Stevens Pass and I-5.
Collisions caused by drivers who are unprepared for winter weather cause delays for everyone. Just one traffic collision or disabled vehicle can back up traffic for miles during already-congested holiday weekends.
‘Know before you go’
WSDOT offers several ways to get up-to-date traffic and construction information before you leave home or the office.
Look at weather forecasts and road temperatures throughout the state.
Check out statewide traffic conditions, including construction delays and highway incidents.
Call 511. WSDOT’s driver information phone line provides real-time traffic, incident and closure information. TTY users can call 800-833-6388.
On the road
Overhead and roadside electronic signs provide emergency and incident alerts and, in some Seattle-area locations during rush hours, point-to-point travel times.
Highway advisory radio allows drivers to tune in to hear updates when the flashing lights along the highway are activated.
Amtrak Rail Services
All Amtrak Cascades trains require reservations, and passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early to obtain lowest fares. Visit www.amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for reservations and information.
Washington State Ferries (WSF)
Check www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries for more information.
To check the status of state-operated airports, visit the state aviation website, www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation, or call 800-552-0666. WSDOT Aviation encourages pilots to check with their local Flight Service Station before each flight for current Notices to Airmen and temporary flight restriction status. To contact the Flight Service Station, please call 800-WX-BRIEF (800-992-7433). Temporary flight restriction information is available at http://airspace.nifc.gov/mapping/nifc/index.cfm.