The glow of tail lights crowded eastbound lanes of I-80 on Friday afternoon. Many travelers said they were caught off guard by the snow.
Springtime weather in the Sierra often brings surprises, and this season was no different. A spring snowstorm, was just another reminder that Mother Nature, plays by her own rules.
"We are from Hawaii, so we were not expecting this at all," one traveler told FOX40.
CalTrans says they have been busy with slid-offs and accidents throughout the day, and projected travel to get more complicated with nightfall.
"A lot of people are thinking I'll go now and I'll beat the traffic but there's just no beating the storm," said Dave Wood, a spokesman for CalTrans. "It might be 75 today in Marysville, but it's not in the Sierra."
Traffic along I-80 was locked in a gridlock, CalTrans says, caused mostly by the sheer number of people traveling.
Many say their plans were snarled by the storm. "The plan was to go to Reno, but this right here is making this a little difficult," Danny Borja said.
For Borja and his group of friends, they had to purchase chains, and learn how to put them on correctly. Borja says thankfully they came across some helpful motorists.
From Nyack to Truckee, chains were not only a requirement, but a survival tool.
"If you’re not prepared you may have a really memorable night in a really bad way," Wood said.
If you plan on braving travel over the summit, CalTrans advises that motorists prepare beforehand.
Adverse weather conditions temporarily closed I-80 eastbound from the Nyack exit, but CalTrans expected the delay to be fixed by 11 p.m.
"Expect weather. The weather here will not be the same as Reno, bay area or the valley, so check the weather before you come and come prepared," Wood said.