Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mount Rainier National Park Weather Alert

(October 31, 2015) Mount Rainier National Park is expected to experience a significant weather event this weekend. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Visitor access will be affected and evacuations could become necessary. Stay alert and check in with information sources frequently for updates.  

  • Current weather models are predicting up to 12” of rain to fall in the park over the weekend, shifting to heavy snow on Sunday and Monday at elevations above 4000’.  
  • High winds are also expected. Watch for fallen trees and rocks on park roads.  
  • All park rivers are expected to reach near flood stage, with potential for debris flows associated with glaciers. Roads may close suddenly and without warning.  
  • Power outages may occur and emergency services may be significantly delayed. 
  • The following emergency closures are in effect (no driving, biking or hiking):
  • Westside Road
  • Sunrise and White River Campground Roads, closed at the junction with SR410
  • Carbon River Trail
  • Mowich Lake Road, beyond the Paul Peak vehicle barricade 
  • The timing of these emergency closures coincides with the last few days of planned operations, so effectively this storm will end seasonal driving access to these locations. 
  • Heavy snow may cause winter closure of Cayuse and Chinook Pass. 
  • The road from Longmire to Paradise and the Stevens Canyon Road will close nightly. These roads will reopen in the morning if and when they are deemed safe for travel. Stevens Canyon Road will close for the winter if it receives heavy snow. 
  • For their safety, visitors are asked to respect any closure signs, barriers or staff directions as it relates to park access this weekend. 
  • Backcountry camping permits will not be issued through the weekend and camping in vehicles is not permitted in the park.
  • Effective November 1, 2015, all vehicles (including 4WD) will be required by state law to carry tire chains when traveling the Nisqually Road to Paradise. Road conditions can deteriorate quickly and mandatory chain use may be required even for 4WD vehicles.

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