Those traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday will find low temperatures to start out the holiday week, and lower gas prices.
People who are starting their travel this morning will find slick conditions, according to Jeremy Wolf from the National Weather Service. Temperatures will drop to freezing in Lewiston and around 20 degrees for the rest of the region. The cold temperatures will freeze water left on the road, creating icy conditions.
Those looking to avoid snow will want to stay away from high elevations of about 8,000 feet, especially traveling west. Stevens Pass and Sherman Pass in the northern Cascades will have light snow Thursday. Northern portions of Washington will have a mix of rain and snow, such as Snoqualmie Pass, Wolf said.
Getting closer to the weekend, the region will have mild temperatures and southern and eastern areas will have mild weather.
“For anyone traveling south and east from Lewiston, there shouldn’t be any winter travel,” Wolf said.
However, travelers heading south should avoid State Highway 55. The Idaho Transportation Department closed the highway between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley south of Cascade because of a rockslide Thursday. The road will remain closed through the Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. The department recommends using Highway 95 as an alternate route.
Those sticking close to home in the Lewiston area are forecasted to have higher than average temperatures, Wolf said. Saturday’s high will be 55 degrees, 10 degrees above normal, and Sunday’s high of about 57 is 15 degrees above the average.
The warmer trend is because of a weather pattern coming from the southwestern region.
However, Wolf said that despite the warmer weather coming on the weekend, roads will be icy today, which is a high-travel day.
“It definitely could be a lot worse but people still need to travel with caution, especially (today) with areas of black ice in the morning,” Wolf said.
For the 53.4 million people traveling, including 290,000 Idahoans, crude oil prices have dropped providing some relief at the gas pump. However, the demand by travelers could offset the decrease in price, according to a news release from AAA.
Crude oil dropped as low as $76 per barrel last week, dropping from about $80 in mid-October. The drop is in response to fears that a resurgence of COVID-19 could affect economic activity in the U.S. and Europe so prices were driven down by coordinating a release of crude oil reserves between the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and India at the request of the Biden administration.
Idaho’s average gas price is $3.69 per gallon, one cent less than last week. Washington’s average gas price is $3.89, according to gasbuddy.com. The national average is currently $3.41 per gallon.
The cheapest gas in Lewiston, according to gasbuddy.com, is $2.97 at nomnom on Thain Road and $2.97 at Neighbor’s A1 Market on Grelle Ave. On the Clarkston side, Costco has the lowest price at $2.99. On the Palouse, Moscow’s lowest gas price can be found at $3.67 at nomnom on West Pullman Road and Pullman’s is $3.71 at Safeway on SE Bishop Boulevard, according to gasbuddy.com.
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