Caltrans: Incoming storm to impact mountain and valley travel

Otto I. Eovaldi

MARYSVILLE – Caltrans is alerting motorists to an incoming storm that will deliver feet of snow in the Sierra and rain and high winds in the Sacramento Valley area, making travel difficult this week.

Two or more feet of snow is expected to accumulate over Donner Summit on Interstate 80 (I-80) and Echo Summit on U.S. Highway 50 (U.S. 50) beginning tonight and continuing into Friday morning.

Snow is expected to begin falling tonight down to 5,000-feet elevation, with snow levels dropping Thursday to around 4,500 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Mountain travel is not advised after this afternoon. The weekend forecast calls for clear skies.

In the valley areas, 0.5-1 inch of rainfall is predicted for the Chico and Sacramento areas. Rain totals of up to 3 inches are possible in the foothills. Motorists are advised to be alert for possible downed trees and power lines due to high winds.

Chain controls and additional travel time should be expected in mountain areas, with temporary highway closures possible due to whiteout conditions, spinouts or avalanche control work. 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 reminds drivers to winterize vehicles by ensuring tires are properly inflated and have good tread (minimum 6/32 in snow areas), and to stock up 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 District 3 recommends following the National Weather Service offices in Sacramento and Reno for daily weather forecasts.

District 3 is responsible for maintaining and operating 4,385 lane miles in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. Check out Caltrans’ “QuickMap” for current road conditions and chain requirements at 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).

Source: Caltrans

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