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Snowstorm continues pounding Pacific Northwest

Another 1 to 2 feet possible over mountain passes in Cascades

(Photo: WSDOT)

A storm continues to spin over the Pacific Northwest, dumping heavy snow in the mountains and drenching rain in the valleys.

Related: Chaining up: 4 pro tips for truckers

Several inches of snow piled up Monday in the highest elevations of the Washington Cascades, with another 12 to 24 inches possible through Tuesday night. The National Weather Service is continuing its winter weather advisory for these areas, including Lyman, Stevens Pass, Skykomish, Snoqualmie Pass, Paradise and Longmire. The biggest snow totals will occur above 4,000 feet in elevation, but snow levels will drop to about 3,000 feet Tuesday night.

Road conditions could become hazardous and difficult on portions of major routes such as Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 2. Chain controls are likely and there’s always a chance of road closures. Gusty winds and intense snowfall rates could quickly limit visibility at times.

(Map: FreightWaves SONAR Critical Events and radar, 8 a.m. ET, Mar. 15, 2022. To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, click here.)

In lower elevations and foothills of western Washington, western Oregon, far Northern California and northern Idaho, periods of heavy rain may lead to river flooding and high water across roads. Totals of 2 to 4 inches are possible along the Interstate 5 and U.S. Highway 101 corridors. The silver lining — the soaking rain will spread across areas that need drought relief.

The NWS had no flood watches in place in the region as of Tuesday morning, but this could change if flooding is reported to the NWS or radar indicates likely flooding.

Related: 5 states with toughest chain laws for truckers

Periods of heavy snow, gusty winds and potential whiteouts will also impact drivers Tuesday in the Teton and Gros Ventre Mountains of western Wyoming, including sections of U.S. Highways 26 and 89.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 5 from Seattle to Stockton, California.
• Interstate 90 from Seattle to Butte, Montana.
• U.S. Highway 101 from Olympia, Washington, to San Francisco.
• U.S. Highway 12 in Washington from west of Yakima to east of Mossy Rock.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.