Crossing the passes? Leave early Sunday to avoid slushy conditions

King 5

After a stormy Thanksgiving around Western Washington, weather conditions are much quieter through Sunday afternoon.

"We're looking at the mountains to stay fairly dry (Friday); down here in the lowlands, we'll probably see some sun breaks a little bit later on," said KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott.

Most of the mountain passes, including Snoqualmie, Stevens, Blewett, White, reported bare and wet conditions with slush and ice in spots midday Friday.  No restrictions were in place, except for Sherman Pass and Mount Baker Highway, where traction tires were advised. North Cascade Highway has closed for the season.

Crystal Mountain and Mount Baker ski areas officially opened Friday. Mount Baker was blasted with 35 inches of new snow in the last 48 hours.

Marriott expects steady rain early Saturday changing to showers later in the day. Showers should end by early on Sunday with clouds, and a few sun breaks through much of the day,  then another round of rain may begin to move in by late afternoon Sunday.

Meteorologist Ben Dery expected the passes to stay clear of snow through Sunday afternoon, with a wintry, slushy mix in late afternoon. Snow will move back in after 4-5 p.m. Accumulation will vary, but Dery said the worst snow would affect Stevens and White Passes.

The roads should stay ice free, with overnight temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s.

Snow levels are expected to stay below the passes all next week. If those conditions continue, additional ski resorts could open in the next two weeks.

Copyright 2016 KING


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