Drivers Should Prepare for Snowy Roads in the Sierra

KINGVALE -- The Wednesday drive was easy but conditions over the high Sierra are about to become blinding with heavy snowfall in the forecast.

Heavy snowfall is expected to hit the high Sierra starting late Wednesday through Thursday night. The National Weather Service says people should try to avoid driving over the Sierra passes after midnight.

A clean windshield can be a lifesaver. The last thing a driver would want is for their washer fluid to freeze -- but it happens.

"Not having the windshield wiper fluid can be a big disaster," said CHP Officer David Martinez. "I've worked up there several times and I've come across people that didn't have the fluid and they're almost blind."

There's a type of washer fluid that is freeze resistant but you can't buy it in the valley. The California Air Resources Board considers it toxic. So the state only allows it to be sold at higher elevations.

Along with the washer fluid, a traveler's checklist should include warm clothes, blankets, food and a full tank of gas.

Sugar Bowl Marketing Director Jon Slaughter explained how the alternating warm and cold storms since last week have made for a perfect start to the ski and snowboard season, which for the resort begins Friday.

"Last week's storms came in really wet. And because of that density, and then you get a freeze, you get a nice hard layer underneath to start protecting the ground, and now we're just building upon that," Slaughter said. "This storm, fortunately, started out pretty wet but it's going to turn dry, and the snow levels are going to drop. So that means we're going to have some really nice, good powder on top of a solid base."

A list of zip codes where the windshield washer formula is allowed to be sold can be found on the CARB website.

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