Snow hits mountain passes as students head home for the holidays

Snow hits mountain passes as students head home for the holidays
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Just as thousands of college students finish up their term and head home for the holidays, the first big winter storm of the season is hitting Washington and Idaho passes.

Students at Gonzaga University, Washington State University, the University of Washington and other local colleges are all taking finals this week. While some may stay on campus until Friday or Saturday, many are likely finishing up early and heading home today.

Those students should be prepared to encounter long delays and winter driving conditions.

Between Wednesday, Dec. 11 and Friday, Dec. 13, the National Weather Service is predicting up to two feet of snow to fall on Stevens and White Passes and up to one foot on Snoqualmie Pass.

Snow hits mountain passes as students head home for the holidays

As of early Thursday, chains were required on Snoqualmie Pass as heavy snow fell. Drivers were experiencing about a half hour of added travel time.

In order to be prepared, you should always check pass conditions before heading across the state. All Washington pass information can be found here.

Things do not look much better for drivers heading east across Idaho. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Dobson Pass and Lookout Passes until Friday morning.

Upwards of one to two feet of snow will be possible with higher amounts on the Cascade Crest. Gusty winds could also result in areas of blowing and drifting snow. The National Weather Service is expecting travel across North Idaho mountain passes to be hazardous at times.

Drivers can find current Idaho pass information here.