This past weekend’s weather in the Cascades resulted in a lot of new snow. For instance, Stevens Pass received around 2 feet of new snow.
It is that time of year when the higher Cascade mountain pass highways close. In collaboration with the National Park Service, the Washington State DOT has closed State Routes 410 and 123 inside Mount Rainier National Park for the winter season. These highways include Chinook and Cayuse Passes, both at elevations of over 4600 feet, where heavy snow amounts often result in avalanche conditions.
State Route 20, the North Cascades Highway, is closed at this time east of Diablo Lake and being evaluated for the risk of avalanches on Monday November 16th. It is possible the highway will close for the season. The highway typically closes this time of year due to high avalanche danger and hazardous road conditions.
All three of these high Cascade highways usually reopen in the spring during the month of May after crews clear snow off the highways, ensure the threat of avalanches is low and conduct any needed roadway repairs.
US 2, Stevens Pass, I-90 Snoqualmie Pass, and US-12, White Pass remain open year-round for cross Cascade highway traffic movement. Washington State DOT crews plow and maintain these highway passes during the winter season. During periods of heavy snowfall, these highways may temporarily close so DOT crews can conduct avalanche control and clear roadways as needed.
Before heading into the Cascades, always check the latest Cascade mountain forecasts from the new everettpost.com weather page and avalanche conditions from the Northwest Avalanche Center at nwac.us . You can also monitor pass conditions from the Washington State DOT at https://www.wsdot.com/traffic/passes/camera.aspx .