Monday, 22 April 2024

Incoming winter storms expected to impact holiday travel

Caltrans is reminding motorists about a series of winter storms in the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada that will create challenging travel conditions through the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for two additional waves of precipitation bringing rain, snow and gusty winds.

The first wave is expected Saturday with the second stronger wave arriving during the evening on Sunday.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Saturday through 4 a.m. Sunday with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected above 6,000 feet.

Motorists should be prepared for chain controls, reduced visibility, additional travel times and delays.

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.

A winter storm warning has also been issued for the second wave and is in effect from 4 p.m. Sunday through 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, with 1 to 2 feet of snow expected above 5,500 feet, 3 to 4 feet at the highest peaks, and wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour.

In the Sacramento Valley, rain amounts are forecast between 0.5 and 1 inch for the first wave and an additional 2 to 3 inches for the second wave. The highest amounts are anticipated in the foothills with up to 4 inches near Auburn.

Motorists should be prepared for ponding on the roadway and minor flooding in poor drainage areas. Updates to the forecast as the weekend progresses can be found on the National Weather Service website.

Motorists are encouraged to check Caltrans’ QuickMap before traveling for current road conditions and chain requirements or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.

Road information is also available on Caltrans’ website or by calling the California Highway Information Network automated phone service at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).

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