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Monday, January 10, 2011
Alice Fiman, WSDOT Communications (360) 705-7080 (Olympia)
OLYMPIA – Weather forecasters may not agree on how much snow will fall or where it will stick, but most are pretty certain about the when: just in time for the Tuesday evening commute.
Drivers across the state can plan for weather and road conditions on their route home Tuesday by keeping “plugged in” to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Web and mobile tools and local media reports.
WSDOT crews are out today treating roads for a blast of cold weather tonight and possible snow, rain and wind Tuesday. WSDOT stockpiles are full and crews are coordinating with local agencies to clear snow, ice and disabled vehicles.
Crews will apply anti-icer, salt and sand in the locations where it’s needed. Part of the WSDOT arsenal are eight mini sanders in the Puget Sound Region that can maneuver in smaller spaces. They can reach problems spots quickly to put down sand to provide traction and get traffic flowing again.
WSDOT is preparing for a brief, but possibly intense, snowstorm expected to hit most of Western Washington Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures should increase late Tuesday and into Wednesday, with most areas seeing rain Wednesday. Winds will keep the ice around longer through the Columbia River Gorge, with cooler temperatures expected to continue into Wednesday morning.
In the mountains, those traveling over I-90 Snoqualmie Pass Tuesday should be prepared for close to one foot of snow. Drivers headed over US 2 Stevens Pass can expect heavy snow and then winds on the west side of the pass, with gusts to 35 mph.
In the Spokane area, forecasts call for heavy snow Tuesday night and Wednesday.
WSDOT needs drivers’ help. Drivers should:
- Stay engaged. Monitor current weather and traffic conditions.
- Make a plan today for the Tuesday afternoon commute.
- Bookmark and use WSDOT’s online tools:
- Call 511 for current traffic conditions
- Tune to Highway Advisory Radio and watch electronic highway signs for information.
- Drive for the conditions: Slow down and allow more room between vehicles.
- Don’t crowd the plow. Snowplows plow far and wide, and the plow blade is often wider than the lane.
- Make sure you and your car are winter ready: www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter.
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 5-1-1.
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