The National Weather Service is forecasting significant rain and snow for the Northern California area starting late Wednesday and lasting through Sunday. Snow levels are currently forecasted to drop to 1,000-2,500 feet locally over the weekend. Motorists should plan for chain controls in higher elevations and are advised to check weather and roadway conditions prior to and during breaks in travel. Travelers are also reminded to slow down and drive carefully during inclement weather and allot extra time for delays, slow travel and possible highway impacts.
Higher elevation travel is highly discouraged during winter weather systems. Motorists who must travel into higher elevations must carry chains, be prepared for winter driving conditions, expect delays and possible closures and follow instructions of Caltrans personnel and law enforcement. Motorists who do not comply with chain controls endanger their own safety and the safety of other motorists around them, along with jeopardizing vital maintenance operations to keep roadways safe and open. Truck and/or vehicle screening is probable for northbound Interstate 5 traffic at Fawndale Road, approximately 10 miles north of Redding, prior to or during the storms. Motorists are also reminded to be cognizant when traveling in recent burn scar areas and to watch for debris on the roadways that may be present due to weather conditions.
24/7 updated highway conditions are available via QuickMap. Motorists can use QuickMap by free app for smartphones and can now opt-in for push notifications for highway closures and areas of chain control as travelers approach these areas. Other resources include One-Stop-Shop (roadway conditions for Western U.S.) or through the Caltrans Highway Information Network at (800) 427-7623. Motorists can also follow Caltrans District 2 on our Twitter and Facebook pages for important traffic updates.
Travelers are also reminded to be wary of using non-highway alternative routes in the event of highway closures. These routes may not be maintained or open during inclement weather events and may have size restrictions for larger vehicles. Contact local city or county agencies for current roadway status or restrictions on non-highway routes.