Sierra Storm to Impact Thanksgiving Travel Chain Controls Expected on Sierra Highways This Week



A winter storm arriving Tuesday is anticipated to bring 24 to 30 inches of snow at pass levels through Thanksgiving, causing significant travel delays in Sierra.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning for a weather system expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon and continue through Thanksgiving evening Thursday. Snow accumulations of up to four feet are possible at higher elevations.


This storm, in addition to increased traffic for the Thanksgiving holiday, will result in traffic delays for motorists. Those traveling through the Sierra region beginning Tuesday afternoon should account for increased travel time. Highway closures due to safety concerns may also be a possibility in the region for: Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 and State Routes 20, 28, 49, 89 and 267.

Chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit and on other Sierra mountain roadways should be anticipated Tuesday afternoon through Thursday evening. Caltrans permitted and trained chain installers on I-80 can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number. Chain installers are not permitted to sell chains. Motorists must carry chains or other legally approved traction devices.


Motorists are advised that speed limits during chain controls are reduced to 30 mph on I-80 and 25 mph on U.S. 50. Caltrans crews will be working around the clock to keep roadways open and clear. Drivers should watch for snow removal equipment and reduce speeds while in their vicinity.

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