Mountain snow means it's time for late-fall chores

cars on road in icy conditionsSnow is forecast to hit the Cascade passes tonight in Oregon and Washington. That means no more putting off those final late-autumn chores.

The National Weather Service says freezing levels will drop to 2,500 feet in Washington, then fluctuate as heavier snowfall hits this weekend. Oregon's passes will freeze tonight.

The good news, according to UW atmospheric sciences professor Cliff Mass, is that weather models show things warming up next week. So perhaps traveling will be drama-free for Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed!
Now that you've (hopefully) done your early autumn and mid-autumn chores, take these finals steps to get ready for winter.

  • In case you lose power at home, have flashlights and lanterns ready with fresh batteries. Or buy a hand-crank lantern.

  • snow on house walkway and front porchKeep de-icer on hand for sidewalks, stairs, and porches, especially if you host holiday gatherings.

  • Load your chains and emergency items into your car for the season – extra food and clothing in case you have cold-weather delays or breakdowns on the road. If you take a longer trip through rural areas, bring blankets or a sleeping bag in case you get stranded.

  • Brush up on the road rules for crossing mountain passes. Do you know what "chains required" really means?

  • And remember, there's a right way to abandon your car in a snowstorm. Tip No. 1: Get as far off the traveled roadway as you safely can.

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