MARYSVILLE – Caltrans District 3 is alerting motorists to be prepared for winter driving conditions Wednesday night through Friday morning as another very cold storm brings winter temperatures to Northern California.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Weather Advisory with snow accumulations forecast for elevations as low as 2,000 feet, including a dusting of snow as low as 1,000 feet. Very cold temperature are predicted to occur with this storm, including Valley frosts and below freezing conditions in the Sierra, with mountain temperatures down to single digits.
Intermittent periods of rapid snow accumulations on Donner and Echo Summit passes are expected with this storm, impacting travel on foothill and mountain highways, including Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50 where chain controls are expected. Additionally, the severe cold will create very slick and icy conditions on all Northern California roadways.
To assist motorists, Caltrans permitted and trained chain installers will be available on Interstate 80 and can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number.
Severe weather may slow motorists, resulting in roadway congestion. Icy and slippery roadways reduce tire traction, especially at high vehicle speeds, and can result in loss of driver control. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and are especially cautioned to observe the following winter driving tips, which can also be found at http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html:
WINTERIZE YOUR VEHICLE
Check anti-freeze levels and consider a de-icer for car locking mechanisms.
Check your tire pressure and tread depth to minimize sliding and/or hydroplaning.
Replace the wiper blades and fill the windshield wiper fluid reservoir; be sure to use a winter formula to help de-ice windshields.
If traveling to higher elevations, carry tire chains that are the correct size for your tires, and practice installing the chains before needing to use them.
Have a full tank of fuel before traveling.
CARRY A TRAVEL KIT
Have warm blankets, extra clothing, food and water, towels, a shovel, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a small bag of sand or kitty litter and road flares.
Have a fully charged cell phone before leaving and carry a car charger.
Reduce speeds during winter weather and allow for additional stopping time.
Turn on headlights to see and be seen and turn off cruise control.
Watch for snow removal equipment. Only pass snow removal vehicles when a safe, legal passing area is available and sight distance is good.
Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, and shaded areas; they may freeze first.
If your vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction of the slide and slowly remove your foot from the accelerator.
CHECK CONDITIONS FREQUENTLY
Check out Caltrans' “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. A mobile version is also available.
Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling
Follow Caltrans District 3 on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and Facebook to receive the latest information about current roadway conditions.
For forecast information, visit the National Weather Service website.
ANTICIPATE DELAYS AND CLOSURES
Understand that winter weather and road conditions can change rapidly and allow for extra travel time.
Make sure you share the route you intend to take with friends or family.
Exercise patience and respect for other motorists.
Caltrans crews will be working around the clock to keep the roadways open and clear. Motorists are urged to be “Be Work Zone Alert” and to “Slow for the Cone Zone.”