Late-season snow sticks in passes, S. county

Temperatures warm enough by midday to melt it

BEND, Ore. - Motorists traveling over the mountain passes Wednesday morning were warned to be prepared for winter-like driving conditions -- just two days before the Memorial Day weekend "getaway Friday."

ODOT said they should also monitor prior to traveling.

About five inches of snow fell overnight on Willamette Pass on Oregon Highway 58 (Willamette Hwy.).Similar conditions existed over Santiam Pass on US Highway 20, where the road cleared by midday as temperatures warmed above freezing

The La Pine area and other areas south of Bend also awakened to snow on their decks and lawns, though no serious traffic incidents were reported.

Over the passes, motorists were advised to carry chains or traction devices, and extra clothing or blankets.

Chain requirements were implemented on Highway 58 at milepost 54, just west of the Salt Creek Tunnel (MP 56), where a major construction project is restricting travel to a single lane controlled by flaggers and a pilot car.  

Motorists were urged to reduce speed significantly as they approach the project limits and be prepared for 20 minute delays.

Conditions were expected to improve as the temperature warmed later in the day. "If possible, motorists might want to delay travel in the higher elevations," officials said.

NewsChannel 21 Chief Meteorologist Bob Shaw predicts a warming trend into the holiday weekend, though temperatures in the 60s might not be what many hoped for.

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