Travelers Warned About Wintry Weather Over the Sierra

TRUCKEE -- Chain requirements were in effect for a brief period over the summits of Highway 50 and Interstate 80 Monday afternoon.

Those requirements were lifted in the evening as a relatively weak storm fell apart. A colder, wetter storm will impact the Sierra Wednesday night and Thursday.

As much as 3 feet of snow may fall over the Sierra summits, according to the National Weather Service. Snow may fall as low as the 4,000-foot elevation at times.

The California Highway Patrol urges mountain travelers to be prepared for very wintry conditions.

"Best thing is make sure you have good tires with proper tread," said Officer McDonald of the Donner Pass Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility. "If you've got bald tires, four-wheel drive is not going to do you any good."

Officer McDonald advised travelers to be prepared for long delays, which are common during snowstorms. Cars should have full tanks of gas and be packed with warm clothes, food and blankets.

McDonald also reminded motorists that big rigs cannot stop quickly.

"So you need to keep your distance from the trucks," he cautioned. "They also have a lot of blind spots. So don't drive next to them, in back of them. They can't see you."

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning and is discouraging non-essential travel during the upcoming storm.

"Sometimes it's better if you don't absolutely have to cross over the mountain don't do it," McDonald said.

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