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Between Tuesday evening and Friday morning, snowfall totals between 60-80 inches at Donner Pass and 48-60 inches at Echo Summit are anticipated, according to the National Weather Service. Snow levels for the storm are anticipated to begin around 500-2,500 feet and increase to 4,000 feet by the end of the work week. High winds coupled with heavy snowfall may lead to whiteout conditions in the Sierra. Major travel delays are anticipated with potential temporary highway closures for motorist safety on Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and State Routes 20, 89, and 267.
Significant rainfall totals are also anticipated in valley and foothill areas between Tuesday and Friday: 3-4 inches in Chico, 2-3 inches in Sacramento and 5-7 inches in Grass Valley. Motorists are advised to be alert for roadway ponding or fallen trees/debris from high winds.
Caltrans reminds drivers to winterize vehicles by ensuring tires are properly inflated and have good tread, and to stock up 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 at dot.ca.gov/travel/winter-driving-tips.
Motorists also are reminded to carry traction-control devices in their vehicles as permitted highway chain installers do not sell traction devices. Periods of chain control are anticipated during both storms with posted speed limits of 30 mph on Interstate 80 and 25 mph on U.S. Highway 50 during chain-enforcement periods.
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).