Major Winter Storm Expected to Impact Mountain Travel

California I-80 Weather | I-80 Exit Guide

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is alerting motorists about a major winter storm in the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada that forecasters say will create near impossible travel conditions for the end of the week and beginning of March.

Early forecast estimates from the National Weather Service show the potential for a total of 5 to 12 feet of snow above 5,000 feet and 1 to 4 feet of snow as low as 3,000 feet starting this Thursday through Sunday, March 3. Winds are also expected to gust up to 60 mph. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from 4:00 a.m. Thursday to 10:00 a.m. Sunday.

Motorists should avoid mountain travel if possible. If motorists must travel, Caltrans advises to pack extra supplies in the event of an emergency or if traffic is held for an extended period of time. Those supplies should include extra snacks, water, a blanket, and a flashlight. Motorists should also be prepared for road closures, chain controls, excessive delays, and reduced visibility.

In the Sacramento Valley, rain amounts are forecast between 1 and 1.5 inches. The highest amounts are anticipated near Redding and into the foothills. Motorists should be prepared for slick travel conditions, a longer than normal commute and ponding on the roadways. 

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