It’s official: Stud season is here. This just over from the Washington State Department of Transportation:
Winter weather forecast for Cascade Mountain passes; WSDOT allows studded tires starting today
OLYMPIA – With a heavy snowfall forecast for the mountain passes today and Tuesday, drivers can start using studded tires and truck drivers should make sure they have chains, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced today.
Forecasts call for winter storms with snow levels dropping to 3000 feet today through Tuesday for all major Cascade Mountain passes. The higher elevation passes may be most impacted by the storm.
· I-90 Snoqualmie Pass (3,022 feet) forecasts call for 2-4 inches of wet snow or slush today into Tuesday.
· US 2 Stevens Pass (4,061 feet) forecasts indicate a convergence zone over Stevens Pass that could bring up to 15 inches of snow before Wednesday.
· On US 12 White Pass (4,500 feet), close to 12 inches of snow through Tuesday.
· On SR 410 Chinook Pass (5,430 feet), drivers should expect temporary road closures as forecasts call for close to 24 inches of snow.
· On US 20 North Cascades (5,477 feet), also expect temporary road closures as forecasts call for close to 24 inches of snow.
Weather forecasts call for warmer and dry conditions by Wednesday.
“Check the weather reports, check the WSDOT Web page , prepare for winter conditions, carry chains and slow down,” said Chris Christopher, WSDOT Director of Maintenance Operations. “Our crews are ready, but we need drivers’ help. Know the conditions of where you are going, and drive for those conditions.”
Because of the challenging conditions ahead in the mountains, WSDOT officials decided to allow drivers to install studded tires starting today, prior to the Nov. 1 seasonal tire restriction lift. The weather should clear by Wednesday, so if travelers are staying in the lower elevations and not crossing a mountain pass, WSDOT requests they wait until Nov. 1.
“We have concerns about roadway damage from studded tires and encourage drivers to visit their tire dealers and find out about tires that provide traction and are legal for use year-round,” Christopher said.