Potent Winter Storms Will Impact Mountain and Valley Travel


Interstate 80

­­­Date: December 8, 2022 #22-176

District: District 3 - Marysville, dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-3

Amarjeet S. Benipal, District Director

Contact: Steve Nelson steve.nelson@dot.ca.gov
John O’Connell, john.oconnell@dot.ca.gov

Phone:(530) 701-9459


Marysville – Caltrans is alerting motorists of successive winter storms forecasted by the National Weather Service that will impact travel in the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada starting midday today.

map snow forecast of california

Rain will move into the Sacramento Valley beginning today, making travel challenging. A total of .25 to 1 inch of rain is expected for the Sacramento Valley between midday and Friday morning.

map of rain forecast of california

Snow in the Sierra will begin this afternoon and last into Friday morning with 6 to 8 inches at Donner Pass and 3 to 4 inches at Echo Summit expected.

Late Friday evening the more impactful storm arrives in Northern California. By Sunday night, 2-3 inches of rain are expected to fall throughout the Sacramento Valley. Winds will be gusting up to 40 mph.

In the Sierra, heavy snow and whiteout conditions will make travel very difficult with major delays likely. Snow levels will start between 4,000-5,500 feet on Saturday and will lower to 2,500-3,500 feet by Sunday. A total of 3-4 feet of snow is predicted for Donner Pass on Interstate 80 and Echo Summit on U.S. Highway 50 between late Friday night and Sunday night.

Traveling over the Sierra is not advised this weekend. If you do travel, chain controls and extensive travel time should be expected in mountain areas with possible flooding in the Valley until the storm clears. Motorists are advised that speed limits during chain controls are reduced to 30 mph on Interstate 80 and 25 mph on U.S. Highway 50.

Drivers are asked to be alert for Caltrans highway workers operating equipment and to move over a lane when it’s safe to do so. Caltrans staff will continue to work around the clock during and after the storm this weekend to clear highways and address any storm damages.

Caltrans reminds drivers now is the time to winterize vehicles and to stock up with water, blankets, snacks, a flashlight and a full tank of gas before mountain travel. More tips for safe winter driving and information about chain controls can be found at dot.ca.gov/travel/winter-driving-tips. Caltrans District 3 recommends following the National Weather Service offices in Sacramento and Reno on social media 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 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).