Friday is shaping up to be a tough day for drivers, whether they’re commuting or heading over the mountain passes for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Black ice was reported Friday morning in lowland cities across Western Washington, formed by a combination of dropping temperatures, overnight showers and moisture already on the ground, said Dustin Guy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

If you must drive in icy conditions, you can keep yourself and others safer by being vigilant, especially on bridges and overpasses, and by leaving lots of room between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Black ice might not be a problem for the evening commute, but driving could be difficult for Seattle-area residents who travel either east or west for the holiday weekend. A storm could hit both the Cascade and Olympic mountains Friday evening, dumping snow before dissipating Saturday afternoon. Mountain passes could get as much as 8 to 12 inches of snow. Areas higher than 3,000 feet could get 12 to 24 inches.

The mountain storm comes a day after Highway 2 across Stevens Pass was reopened, having been partially closed since Sunday night because of downed power lines and trees or tree branches that fell under the weight of heavy snow.

Drivers braving the passes should allow extra time when traveling in winter weather and check pass conditions before heading out, according to winter driving tips provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation.


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