Snow could make travel in North State 'dangerous,' Caltrans say of forecast

Damon Arthur
Redding Record Searchlight
The National Weather Service forecast snow, wind and rain in the North State later this week.

The sun was shining Tuesday afternoon, but clouds building over North State mountains were an ominous sign of snow, wind and rain forecast for later this week, while Caltrans warned motorists of possible "dangerous" travel conditions expected through Friday.

And the return to wintry conditions wasn't expected to be confined to higher elevations.

The National Weather Service sent out an advisory Tuesday that forecast significant amounts of snow in the foothills and 1 to 4 inches down to 500 feet in valley areas.

Strong winds with gusts from 25 mph to 40 mph are also forecast in the valley and foothills, the weather service said. In the higher elevations, wind speeds could reach 40 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph, the weather service said.

Caltrans sent out a notice Tuesday, urging motorists traveling through the mountains to slow down and prepare for wintry conditions. The agency also reminded motorists traveling through the hills to carry tire chains.

"Dangerous mountain travel is anticipated due to heavy snow starting today through Friday with significant accumulations into the foothills Wednesday through Friday," Tuesday's Caltrans advisory said.

One to 2 feet of snow was predicted through Friday for higher elevations. The foothills could receive 6 to 12 inches, while the valley would likely receive less than 1 to 4 inches, the weather service said.

"Motorists are advised to be cognizant when traveling in recent burn scar areas and watch for possible areas of flooding and/or debris on the roadways that may be present due to weather conditions," Caltrans said.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company officials said they were mobilizing repair crews ahead of the storm.

The weather could cause trees, limbs and other debris to fall into into powerlines, damaging equipment and interrupting electric service across Northern California, the utility said.

“We encourage customers to prepare for the storm now,” said Angie Gibson, PG&E vice president of emergency preparedness and response. “Have an emergency plan in case you lose power and update your contact information on PG&E’s website so we can provide you with real-time updates on outages in your neighborhood.”

Reporter Damon Arthur welcomes story tips at 530-338-8834, by email at and on Twitter at @damonarthur_RS. Help local journalism thrive by subscribing today.