Motorists Should Prepare for Snowy Conditions and Travel Delays
MARYSVILLE – The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Sierra Winter Storm Watch beginning Friday morning through Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the first winter storm of the season this weekend.
Sierra travel will be impacted with intermittent chain control periods anticipated Friday through Sunday on Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and secondary area highways. Motorists are advised to be prepared for winter travel and carry chains as permitted chain installers do not sell traction devices. Up to a foot of snow is anticipated over the weekend on I-80 at Donner Summit and U.S. 50 at Echo Summit. Snow levels may also fall to the 2,500 or 3,000-foot elevation by Saturday morning.
In addition, rain in valley areas will cause slick roads throughout the weekend. Motorists are reminded to slow down based on weather conditions and to use headlights, even during daytime hours, when rain is falling.
Caltrans reminds drivers to winterize vehicles by ensuring tires are properly inflated and have 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 dot.ca.gov/travel/winter-driving-tips.
The California Highway Patrol South Lake Tahoe division also recently released an informational video with useful winter travel tips that can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=276014520442477.
Motorists are also reminded of highway speed limits during chain controls: 30 mph on Interstate 80 and 25 mph on U.S. Highway 50. Driving slowly for weather conditions is crucial to avoid collisions on snowy and icy roads.
Check out Caltrans' “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the free QuickMap app on the App Store or Google Play. Motorists also can call the California Highway Information Network automated phone service at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).