MARYSVILLE – Caltrans District 3 is alerting motorists to an incoming mid-week storm in Northern California that will impact mountain and valley highway travel Tuesday, February 12 through Thursday, February 14.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm watch alerting the public to an incoming weather system that will bring rain to the valley and snow and wind gusts at higher elevations. While the brunt of the storm has been initially projected for Wednesday morning through Thursday afternoon, it is still too early to determine if the storm will linger later in the week.
Snow levels Tuesday evening will be around 1,500 to 3,000 feet, rising between 3,500 and 7,000 feet by Wednesday. In the Sierra region pass levels may see 2 to 4 feet of snow with gusty winds that may create poor visibility conditions. Valley rainfall is predicted to be around 0.5 to 2 inches with 1 to 3 inches in the foothills. Motorists should be alert for flooding caused by blocked drains from recent storms.
Delays and longer travel times are anticpated due to inclement weather conditions. Chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit and on other Sierra mountain roadways should be anticipated Tuesday through Thursday. Highway closures due to safety concerns may also be a possibility in the region: Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and State Routes 20, 28, 49, 89 and 267.
Motorists are advised that speed limits during chain controls are reduced to 30 mph on I-80 and 25 mph on U.S. 50. Caltrans crews will be working around the clock to keep roadways open and clear. Drivers are advised to watch for snow removal equipment and reduce speeds while in their vicinity.
Caltrans reminds drivers to check that tires are properly inflated and have a good tread, and to stock vehicles with water, blankets, snacks, a flashlight and a full tank of gas before mountain travel. Further tips for safe winter driving and information about chain controls can be found at http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html.
Check out Caltrans' “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. For real-time traffic, download the QuickMap app on iTunes or Google Play. Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).