MAZAMA — The North Cascades Highway from Mazama to Newhalem will close at 8 p.m. tonight in anticipation of heavy snowstorms forecast over the next several days.
A news release from the state Department of Transportation said the National Weather Service is predicting up to 22 inches of snow by Thursday morning, and more snow through the weekend.
Already, Highway 20 has seen three to five inches of snow daily since Friday, when crews started plowing and sanding the pass around the clock, the release said. This morning, there were four inches of new snow on the highway, and more than 20 inches on the shoulders.
The 37-mile stretch of highway closes every winter due to avalanche danger.
But this closure may only be temporary, the DOT reported. The agency will reassess road conditions and avalanche danger on Monday, to see if it can reopen during the week of Thanksgiving.
Last winter, the highway closed for the season on December 1.