Dec. 11, 2013
Snowfall depth for 2013-2014 winter season
A total of 31 inches has fallen at Snoqualmie Pass through Dec. 8, 2013, which means the pass has received 6.8 percent of the five-year seasonal average of 453 inches of total snowfall.
WSDOT reminds motorists to be prepared and drive for conditions. For winter driving, remember, Ice and Snow, Take it Slow.
Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass is an important cross-state transportation corridor. More than 10 million travelers, including significant commercial traffic, cross the pass each year. WSDOT started making improvements to a five-mile section of I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass between Hyak and Keechelus Dam in 2010, and will be complete by 2017. Construction activities shutdown every winter due to the weather and resume in late spring when conditions improve. The I-90 project was funded by the 2005 gas tax
Why was the pass Closed?
Highway maintenance crews are ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to treat the roadway and remove snow and ice. There are times when short-term roadway closures are necessary to safely clear incidents and remove snow and ice. As you can see below, avalanche impacts and traffic collisions contribute to most pass closures. Avalanche closures include avalanche control work, natural avalanches, and avalanche danger. Collision closures include traffic collisions, spin outs, blocking vehicles, and more.
Snowfall and avalanche control
When the snow piles up and conditions are right, avalanches result. While Snoqualmie Pass has begun to accumulate snowfall, WSDOT’s focus on avalanche control (intentionally triggering an avalanche) minimizes natural avalanches.
Drivers are at risk without a comprehensive program to monitor and bring down the unstable snow pack. The work is usually necessary during times of heavy snowfall. It is critical that avalanche control be done before unstable snow naturally slides. When possible, WSDOT performs avalanche control during periods of light traffic since traffic must be stopped for safety.
Over the past five-year period, Snoqualmie Pass received an average annual snowfall of 453 inches per year. View historical snowfall data (pdf 43 kb).