I-5 open north of Redding, but another storm expected this weekend
Interstate 5 north of Redding is now open to all traffic, with no chain restrictions, the California Department of Transportation announced late Tuesday afternoon.
Northbound and southbound lanes are now clear, the agency said. While I-5 gets an all-clear for now, another storm is headed for the North State this weekend, bringing rain to lower elevations and snow in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service
Chains were still required on several North State highways, including highways 44 east of Shingletown, Highway 299 near Round Mountain, Highway 89 north of Lassen Volcanic National Park and Highway 97 north of Weed, Highway 3 south of Douglas City, Highway 36 west of Platina and Highway 89 east of I-5, according to Caltrans's Quickmap app.
The weather service cautioned drivers heading into the mountains that there is still plenty of snow in the foothills and higher elevations.
Motorists should expect to see from 5 inches to 3 feet of snow at elevations from 2,000 feet to 3,000 feet and 3 feet to 6 feet above 3,000 feet in elevation, the weather service said.
While most other schools have reopened since Tuesday's snowstorm, classes at Black Butte School near Shingletown remain canceled Wednesday.
Expect breezy conditions in the North State today. Another winter storm this weekend, with rains in the valley and lower elevations and moderate to heavy snow in the foothills, the weather service said.
2:30 p.m. Tuesday: Weather service issues hard freeze warning for Redding area Wednesday, Thursday mornings
The National Weather Service issued hard freeze warnings this week for the northern Sacramento Valley area, including Redding.
The warnings are in effect from 2 a.m. until 8 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
Nighttime temperatures will drop as low as 20 to 24 degrees at Shasta Dam and in Shasta Lake, Redding, Red Bluff, Chico, Oroville, Marysville, Yuba City, Alder Springs, Paradise, Grass Valley and Jackson, according to the weather service.
Those temperatures are cold enough to "kill crops and other sensitive vegetation, and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing," the weather service cautioned.
Recommendations include protecting sensitive plants, bringing pets indoors and putting livestock in a warm barn. "To prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes, they should be wrapped, drained or allowed to drip slowly," the weather service recommended. People with "in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing."
1:15 p.m. Tuesday: Parts of Hwy 32 and Hwy 36 close. Yreka I-5 screening lifted
Caltrans reported it will no longer screen trucks for chains going northbound on Interstate 5 at Yreka, as of 1 p.m.
All vehicles, including trucks, are still being screened for chains on I-5 at Fawndale, 10 miles north of Redding, according to Caltrans. Motorists must stop for the screening before they'll be allowed to continue going north on I-5.
South of Redding, Highway 32 is closed from the junction with Highway 36 to the Tehama County-Butte County line, Caltrans reported. Highway 36 is closed east of Mineral, from the Highway 89 junction to the Highway 32 junction. Both closures are "due to zero visibility and winter weather conditions," Caltrans reported.
"Our crews have been working around the clock to keep the roadways clear and safe," Caltrans posted on social media. "Please watch out for our snowplows, give them space and do not attempt to pass them."
More:Snow and bad weather cancel classes at these Shasta, Siskiyou counties schools
6:30 a.m. Tuesday: I-5 reopens
I-5 reopened late Monday afternoon, but authorities were screening all vehicles for chains 10 miles north of Redding at the Fawndale exit. Those restrictions continue to be in place.
Trucks are being checked for chains on southbound I-5 about 10 miles south of the California/Oregon border in Hornbrook, according to Caltrans.
Chains are also required on most state highways in the North State, including highways 44, 299, 36 and 3. Chains are also required on Highway 97 in Siskiyou County.
Meanwhile, Grant School west of Redding and Happy Valley Union Elementary School District west of Anderson have canceled classes Tuesday due to the weather.
Dunsmuir High School in Siskiyou County will start school at 10 a.m. due to the snowy roads.
The National Weather Service forecasts snow in Redding before 9 a.m. It is expected to turn to rain after that.
This latest storm will be gone by Wednesday, when it's forecast to be sunny with highs in the low 50s.
4:30 p.m. Monday: I-5 reopens
Interstate 5 is back open, but all big-rig trucks are being screened for chains 10 miles north of Redding at the Fawndale Road exit. All other vehicles are required to have chains in order to proceed, according to Caltrans.
8:30 a.m. Monday: Motorists on I-5 face screenings for chains, road closures
All big-rig trucks traveling north are being stopped and held on Interstate 5 north of Redding, while all other vehicles are being screened for chains before heading through the Sacramento River Canyon, according to Caltrans.
All northbound lanes of I-5 are blocked near the Oregon border due to a jackknifed truck in the roadway, Caltrans said.
Northbound trucks are being stopped at the Fawndale exit, Caltrans said.
Monday's road closures marked the second time in a week the freeway had to be restricted due to weather. Heavy snow last Friday forced officials to close the road.
"We understand road closures are inconvenient & unpleasant and we do not take the decision to close a roadway lightly but we want to make sure you make it to your destination safe & sound and we want our employees to be able to return home to their families at the end of the day," Caltrans said in a Twitter post.
The state agency said motorists should avoid traveling, if possible during the current storm.
"Traveling during this storm (Monday-Wednesday) is highly discouraged as high winds and heavy snow are causing poor visibility and dangerous travel conditions. If motorists choose to travel, they should plan for road closures and delays and should have chains in their vehicle," Caltrans said.
The National Weather Service forecast heavy snow in the mountains and foothills, with blizzard conditions in the Sierra Nevada, gusty winds and rain in the valley.
Snow is possible in the valley Monday, the weather service said. Isolated thunderstorms and hail are possible Tuesday.
Chains were required Monday on most state highways throughout the North State on Monday, including highways 44, 299, 3 and 36, according to Caltrans.
There will be a break in the weather Wednesday but colder, freezing temperatures in the morning, the weather service said.
But another storm is predicted for the weekend, bringing widespread rain in the valley and more snow in the foothills and higher elevations in the mountains.
Reporter Damon Arthur welcomes story tips at 530-338-8834, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @damonarthur_RS. Help local journalism thrive by subscribing today.