Traveling for the Holidays? You Can Never Be Too Prepared

Check out these valuable resources before you head out the door to see loved ones.

The time has come again to travel to see loved ones for the holidays, all the while rain and snow stay in the forecast.

As one might expect in late December in the Northwest, conditions will be wet and cold.  Rain is in the forecast for the next several days with high temperatures expected to be in the low 40s in the lowlands, while a winter storm warning is in effect for the Cascade Mountain region. Click on the National Weather Service’s seven-day forecast map to see what you’re up against.

Winter driving conditions are expected in various parts of Western Washington, including Snoqualmie Pass. Check the Washington State Department of Transportation website for updated conditions and alerts. If a skiing or snowboarding vacation is on your holiday agenda, here is a good resource for up-to-date snow reports and weather forecasts.

Drivers hoping to leave Thursday night must be prepared for SR 520 closings. There are three scheduled drawspan openings at 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Drawspan openings typically last up to 30 minutes, and are scheduled with advanced notice for vessels that can’t fit under the 45-foot-high west high rise. 

Crews will close both directions of 520 and ramps between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue from 11 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, to 5 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21. Recent winter weather has washed away temporary lane striping and reflective buttons placed during construction on the Eastside. With less rain projected for Thursday night, crews hope to refresh all paint lines and replace reflective buttons and barrier reflectors during the overnight closure. 

As of Nov. 1, winter driving laws are in effect in Washington. To brush up on the WSDOT traction advisories, click here.

For those who are flying out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, here are some tips for holiday travelers.


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