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Originally published Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 4:07 PM

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3 missing in 2 avalanches east of Seattle

Authorities in Washington state say three people are missing after two avalanches in the mountains near Snoqualmie Pass on Saturday afternoon.

The Associated Press

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SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. —

Authorities in Washington state say three people are missing after two avalanches in the mountains near Snoqualmie Pass on Saturday afternoon.

One avalanche happened on Granite Mountain, off Exit 47 from Interstate 90, KOMO-TV ( http://bit.ly/17xZzAA) reported. Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff's office said two skiers were injured and one is missing.

Two people also are missing from the second avalanche, on Red Mountain, near the Alpental Ski Area off I-90. Authorities believe both were snowshoeing in the area.

Both avalanches occurred as heavy snow was falling in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle.

An avalanche meteorologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Northwest Avalanche Center said April snow is particularly susceptible to avalanches, because of warmer daytime temperatures and more sunshine.

"Spring skiing is a tradition here," Garth Ferber said. "April snowfall is common and susceptible to the effects of sun and daytime heating."

He noted that Granite Mountain has a south facing slope.

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Information from: KOMO-TV, http://www.komotv.com/

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