California officials are warning drivers not to attempt to travel as a severe winter storm is dumping several feet of snow on the Sierra Nevada area from now through Tuesday. Forecasters say that a blizzard will dump up to eight feet of snow on some parts of the Sierra that have already been battered by severe winter weather, increasing the risk of crashes or avalanches and making mountain driving dangerous if not impossible.
— Paul Deanno (@PaulDeannoNBC5) February 4, 2019
Additionally, wind gusts of 100 miles per hour are possible at the mountain level. Gusts of 50 miles per hour may occur at lake level, according to CBS San Francisco. As of 10 a.m. on Monday, February 4, the blizzard has already been wreaking havoc on I-80 over Donner Pass as snow is causing vehicles to slide off the roadway.
Traffic is stop and go on I-80 over Donner Summit due to heavy snow and numerous spin outs throughout the overnight hours. Be careful and be prepared for worsening conditions with a blizzard warning issued by the @NWSSacramento @KCRAtberg has your forecast on @kcranews pic.twitter.com/6TC88IJzEh
— Brian Hickey (@kcraBrianHickey) February 4, 2019
The winter storm is expected to be so severe that authorities are warning drivers not to attempt travel because rescuers may not be able to come to the aid of stranded vehicles. The Truckee division of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) says that “Travel is not advised.” Authorities also warn drivers not to walk away from their vehicles, as it is easy to become disoriented in blizzard conditions.
Heavy snowfall with accumulation rates of 1-2 inches an hour is moving through the northern #SierraNevada. Significant travel impacts expected! Check https://t.co/6jnhwJNN7a for the latest road conditions. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/XnmXgWopO7
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) February 4, 2019
Experts say that drivers should attempt to avoid mountain travel from now through Tuesday. Follow CHP — Truckee on Twitter for the latest road closure and chain requirement information.
SR-89 Emerald Bay is closed. R2 Pickett’s Junction to US-50,
R2 Bliss to Sugar Pine, R1 Sugar Pine to Truckee
R1 Truckee to Plumas County Line.
US-50 R2 Meyers to Sawmill
SR-88 R2 Dew Drop to Paynesville, Carson Pass is closed
— CHP-Truckee (@CHP_Truckee) February 4, 2019