Caltrans District 3 is alerting motorists of incoming weather systems in Northern California, which will impact holiday travel through Tuesday, December 25th.
Expected Weather Systems
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued alerts for two weather systems expected to continue through Christmas on Tuesday. The weakest of the two systems will continue into Friday morning, with light rain and snow levels around 6,500 feet.
A second, wetter and colder system is anticipated Sunday and will continue through Christmas. Snow amounts of one to two feet are possible over mountain passes with snow levels dropping from 6,000 to 4,500 feet by Tuesday. Heavier precipitation is also expected Monday afternoon in the mountains, with light rain in the Valley.
Preparing for Road Conditions
Caltrans maintenance teams will be fully staffed for the holiday weekend. Highways will be maintaned with equipment including plows, snow blowers and graders. Caltrans' pusher trucks will also be roadside around the clock to assist large trucks and stranded motorists over Donner Summit.
Given the increased vehicle traffic for the holidays, motorists should anticipate lengthy delays and increased travel time. Chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit and on other Sierra mountain roadways should be anticipated this evening through Tuesday. Caltrans permitted and trained chain installers on I-80 can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number.
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 crews will be working around the clock to keep roadways open and clear. Drivers should watch for snow removal equipment and reduce speeds while in their vicinity.
Check out Caltrans' "QuickMap" for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. For real-time traffic, download the QuickMap app on iTunes or Google Play. Motorists also can use the California Highway Information Network automated phone service by calling 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).