Winter storm expected to intensify early Thursday morning

Weather

CISCO GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — Snowfall has started in the Sierra, and it isn’t expected to let up until at least Monday.

The Tahoe area is under a winter weather advisory, with the winter storm warning expected to begin at 4 a.m. Thursday.

The heaviest snowfall will likely occur between Friday and Monday. 

The story for the valley and foothills will be periods of rain every day of the seven-day forecast. 

Rainfall is expected to be steady Wednesday morning and more scattered in the afternoon. 

Sacramento received .57 inches of rain in the last 24-hour period, the National Weather Service tweeted Wednesday.

Friday morning will likely offer a nice break of several hours between rain showers. Overnight into Christmas morning, rain, wind and snow will likely create a challenge for Santa and his reindeer.

Major travel delays for the holidays are expected, and there may be near white-out conditions at times. Travel through the mountain is “highly discouraged” by NWS Sacramento starting Wednesday evening. 

For those who are driving, they are advised to leave before Wednesday evening and check their vehicle’s tires, battery and fluids.

For current road conditions, visit the Caltrans Quick Map website. 

“Be safe out there,” one driver, identified only as Jeff, told FOX40. “We’re headed out to see family in Idaho. So we’re looking forward to this inclement weather. Luckily we’ve got the Subaru, so I think we’re going to be OK.”

Drivers are advised to carry chains as they are needed for driving in snow.

A gas station clerk in Kingvale said when the snow comes, they sell around 1,000 sets of tire chains in just a few days.

“You know, everybody is on vacation; nobody really knows what they need until they need it,” clerk Troy Richmond told FOX40. 

“If you’re going to do your own chains or need to get chains, I recommend you do it before you get here,” said Tim Milas, who helps sell and install tire chains in Kingvale. “If you need to, you’re going to get a little wet, down on your knees. It is a process, but it is to save your life.”

Chains or not, accidents in snowstorms are almost inevitable. The California Highway Patrol asks those involved in fender benders not to stay on the road after a collision.

Photos courtesy of the California Highway Patrol

The California Highway Patrol responded to an incident Wednesday morning that forced CHP to stop drivers at the Soda Springs onramp to eastbound Interstate 80.

Photos posted by the CHP appear to show an overturned trailer in the snow.

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