MARYSVILLE – A Sierra snow storm will arrive late Wednesday night, bringing blizzard-like conditions and up to two feet of snow at pass levels, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Beginning late Wednesday and continuing through Friday morning, a significant Sierra storm is expected to deliver 18 to 24 inches of snow over Donner Summit on Interstate 80 and 12 to 18 inches of snow over Echo Summit on U.S. Highway 50. Major storm impacts are anticipated Wednesday night and throughout the day Thursday with potential blizzard and whiteout conditions making travel difficult. The snowfall elevation is predicted to drop down to 2,000 feet.
Chain controls are expected throughout the region and motorists are advised to be prepared for winter travel. Highway closures due to safety concerns may also be a possibility in the region on Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and State Routes 20, 28, 49, 89 and 267.
Given the approaching Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, increased travel delays should be expected due to an influx of traffic to the Sierra. Caltrans advises motorists to review NWS weather reports before traveling.
In addition, heavy rain with thunderstorms in the valley on Thursday could cause flooding on roadways. Gusty winds late Wednesday night into Thursday could make driving difficult and motorists are advised to watch for downed tree branches. Drivers are reminded to turn headlights on during rainy periods.
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 here.
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, icy roads.
Check out Caltrans' QuickMap for current road conditions and chain requirements 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).