Washington winter storm forecast; have chains ready


The Washington Trucking Association has a good reminder if your driving takes you their way: if you’re traveling Interstate 90 through the Cascade Mountain Range’s Snoqualmie Pass, make sure you follow that state’s chain requirements. Failing to do so can be costly.

The warning comes at an opportune time as heavy snows and difficult travel are forecast for today through early Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Warning for the Cascades for today through 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Between 1 to 2 feet of snow is expected above 2,500 feet, with up to 3 feet possible at higher elevations. The passes will be affected, and travel may be very difficult to impossible. 

In a recent Facebook post the WTA says the Washington State Department of Transportation is working with the Washington State Patrol, which will be enforcing chain requirements during winter storms and inclement weather on Snoqualmie Pass. Ignoring the chain requirements could cost you between $136 and $500.

Vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or greater – including some large SUVs and RVs – must install chains when traction tires are required, according to the WTA.

See the state’s complete tire chain law.

The WTA says more than 30,000 vehicles travel across Snoqualmie Pass every day. Over the last several years, more than half of I-90 closures on Snoqualmie Pass have been caused by drivers who ignore chain-up requirements, according to WSDOT.