'Another challenging day of travel': Jackknifed semi closes I-90 WB at Ellensburg for hours

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- I-90 Westbound was closed for roughly four hours Tuesday morning after a semi jackknifed on the icy, snowy highway.

Officials said the highway would reopen about 10:30 a.m., though WSDOT is urging drivers to stay off the roads as long as they can.

Snoqualmie Pass: Chains are required on all vehicles except all wheel drive. Oversize vehicles are prohibited.

Stevens Pass: US 2 between Gold Bar and Stevens Pass summit in both directions will remain closed until further notice because of downed trees and power lines. The closure has been in effect since Monday, stranding hundreds of drivers.

Blewett Pass: Traction tires are advised, and oversize vehicles are prohibited.

The winter weather is causing traffic problems all across western Washington. Monday evening, roughly 30 cars were involved in chain-reaction crashes on the SR 520 westbound floating bridge. The crashes happened after drivers lost control of their vehicles on icy roads that had not been treated.


More passing snow showers are expected this morning with some minor accumulations -- but what you'll really notice are the bitterly cold temps and icy conditions. Most of that ice comes from places that melted a touch yesterday and froze solid overnight. While we'll see some breaks in the cloud deck in a few places, we'll have incoming precipitation likely arriving tonight after dinner deliver some more sticking snow from areas Seattle northward to the border where there's a now a Winter Storm Watch until tomorrow morning -- including the Strait, across the islands, and along the north coast.

One-three inches of additional snow is expected tonight in those areas under the watch. In the foothills, Cascades and South Sound, it's a Winter Weather Advisory due to the lesser amounts expected.

The next system working is on a track that will help bring in warmer air from the south to help us get out of the freezer on Thursday. A rain-snow mix is likely for Thursday, and more seasonal lowland rain and mountain snow are looking likely for Friday and the weekend.