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Safe and snow-free travels forecast over mountain passes this week

By Elena Perry, The Spokesman-Review
Published: November 20, 2023, 7:42am

SPOKANE — Relatively safe travels predicted on mountain passes in Washington and North Idaho mountain passes Monday to Thanksgiving Day.

In the east: Washington, Stevens and Lookout Passes saw some snow Sunday morning, but above-freezing temperatures Sunday afternoon melted what snow that dusted the roads.

The National Weather Service’s Spokane office predicts little to no risks associated with weather in taking these routes.

The service’s Seattle office isn’t forecasting snow on Snoqualmie or White Pass from Monday to Thursday. On Tuesday to Thursday, travelers could see some rain over the passes, but temperatures should be above freezing, said meteorologist Matthew Cullen.

“The impact is mostly wet roads,” Cullen said.

While weekend forecast are more subject to change, Cullen said the back end of the holiday is looking dry through midday Sunday.

Meteorologist Valerie Thaler said the service was not forecasting any additional snow on Stevens, Lookout and Washington passes or at lower elevations in the region, though on Wednesday these passes may see some rain.

“It’s looking pretty benign between now and Thanksgiving,” Thaler said Sunday afternoon.

While it’s difficult to forecast, Thaler advised weather conditions create a potential for fog in the region, which can reduce visibility on roadways. Fog could accumulate any day this week, especially in the early mornings, Thaler said.

Regionally, temperatures are trending cooler for the holiday. While not a dramatic drop, the service forecast a high of mid- to high 30s and lows in the teens and 20-degree range leading up towards Thanksgiving.