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Old 10-07-2009, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, Ca
23 posts, read 64,606 times
Reputation: 20

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I know it snows in Seattle, but not sure how much. And I have never driven in snow before. Does the Seattle area get enough snow to require snow chains? I have all season tires, and hope that is good enough.

Also, I'll be driving up the 5, sorry, driving up I-5 freeway, the first week of November. Going through the mountains of Northern California and Oregon. Do you think I will run into any snow on the drive up?

Saw that Idaho got their earliest snow on record, so that's what got me thinking.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:05 PM
 
Location: West Coast Wanderer
12,755 posts, read 10,798,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeYaSoCal View Post
I know it snows in Seattle, but not sure how much. And I have never driven in snow before. Does the Seattle area get enough snow to require snow chains? I have all season tires, and hope that is good enough.

Also, I'll be driving up the 5, sorry, driving up I-5 freeway, the first week of November. Going through the mountains of Northern California and Oregon. Do you think I will run into any snow on the drive up?

Saw that Idaho got their earliest snow on record, so that's what got me thinking.

Thanks for any advice!
I don't believe Seattle get enough snow to require chains. A Seattle resident can correct me on that. However if you're driving up I 5 through the Syskiyu range and it's snowing, you will definitely need chains there. They may not even let you through if the roads are icy. And it's quite steep going up those mountains as it is for most of the Cascade ranges. If it's snowing the drive in the mountains between Redding Ca. and Medford Or. can be treacherous.
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Duvall, WA
1,677 posts, read 4,208,916 times
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I've driven from CA to WA twice now, and I'd say you might definitely want chains for that drive. There are big stretches near Mount Shasta with shoulders to install chains if the weather requires them.

Also, depending on where you live in the Seattle area, you may want chains. We live in the Issaquah Highlands and the last two winters we needed snow chains to come up and down from our neighborhood. Year before last we only needed them like one day, but last year we needed them for almost a week.

V. =)
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:52 PM
 
474 posts, read 1,198,857 times
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The only place I see people using chains is on the passes since it's actually required unless you have AWD/4WD. You'll probably be ok with all seasons especially if you have an AWD/4WD car. If you are in an area with a lot of hills though then I would get winter tires if you really need to go out in deep snow. When the roads freeze over and turn to ice though there's not much you can do.
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:56 PM
 
1,170 posts, read 3,315,090 times
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I have chains for all my vehicles. They are seldom used but if you need to get to work you'll need chains. The buses are a joke when it snows so don't think you can count on them.

Shur Grip Z made by SCC are a good choice for most people, see the link below for more details. You can find these chains online.

SCC Shur Grip Z
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:17 PM
 
3,973 posts, read 7,235,097 times
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I've lived in Seattle (most of my life), Anchorage, Tri-Cities, Eugene, Chicago, and various towns in Idaho. I've crossed Snoqualmie Pass more times than I can remember. I've never used chains. Ever. Of course, I've always had good snow tires, and if chains are required I just don't go. Will my good luck catch up with me? Uh, probably...

As for Seattle snowfall, it is extremely variable. Some winters can be measured in feet, others are zilch. And I know others have said it before, but it seems there was a lot more Seattle snow in the 60's & 70's.
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,800 posts, read 22,783,014 times
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Having a set of chains in any non-AWD car is good insurance, there are times you are required to chain up to go over Snoqualmie Pass, even a set of cable chains will qualify you.

That said, just to drive around in Seattle and surrounding areas, you would probably never need chains.

If the Seattle area gets enough snow that you would actually need chains, so many of the locals would be slip-sliding around all over that the roads would be impassable for practical purposes. Between the hills and the clueless drivers it's best to stay off the roads, and not street-park your car, when it snows.
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, Ca
23 posts, read 64,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
I don't believe Seattle get enough snow to require chains. A Seattle resident can correct me on that. However if you're driving up I 5 through the Syskiyu range and it's snowing, you will definitely need chains there. They may not even let you through if the roads are icy. And it's quite steep going up those mountains as it is for most of the Cascade ranges. If it's snowing the drive in the mountains between Redding Ca. and Medford Or. can be treacherous.
Yea, driving back down to So Cal through the Medford-Redding area was loonngg. The Rockies had nothing on my drive through those mountains. Thank you for your advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pw72 View Post
I've lived in Seattle (most of my life), Anchorage, Tri-Cities, Eugene, Chicago, and various towns in Idaho. I've crossed Snoqualmie Pass more times than I can remember. I've never used chains. Ever. Of course, I've always had good snow tires, and if chains are required I just don't go. Will my good luck catch up with me? Uh, probably...
I don't believe I will be going through the Snoqualmie pass. However, I did drive through there last month coming from Denver and that pass was never ending. I can't imagine trying to drive through there in the snow. No way!
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Having a set of chains in any non-AWD car is good insurance, there are times you are required to chain up to go over Snoqualmie Pass, even a set of cable chains will qualify you.
I have a FWD car so I'm thinking the chains will definitely be good insurance for me. I can't imagine getting stuck driving through one of the mountains. Probably not the best idea to drive through that area my very first time in the snow.

I'll be in the Bellevue area so not sure how many hills I will have to travel on. But after these comments, I am for sure getting the chains just in case. At least for the long drive through the mountains. Thank you all so much for your comments!
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:44 PM
 
474 posts, read 1,198,857 times
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You'll just need them for the mountains then. Taking them on and off is such a p.i.t.a esp when it's cold. You have to take them off as soon as the snow is clear though b/c if WSP catches you driving on chains when you don't need them that is an easy ticket for them to give.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:55 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,012 posts, read 6,412,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeYaSoCal View Post
I'll be in the Bellevue area so not sure how many hills I will have to travel on. But after these comments, I am for sure getting the chains just in case. At least for the long drive through the mountains. Thank you all so much for your comments!
Yes, you will want to buy chains if you ever absolutely have to go to work, though most of the time the main roads and highways are passable, but neighborhoods get the shaft. I remember once living in the U district near 45th st. was a war zone with cars crashing into each other, people slipping, and eventually people just stopped driving.

I worked from home for three days while the snow melted. I am from the Midwest so I find it laughable that a city like Seattle doesn't know how to handle snow.
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