SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Heavy snow and rain fell across Northern California on Thursday as a substantial spring storm added to late-season precipitation totals after a dry winter.
Winter storm warnings were in effect from the Oregon border and down through the southern Cascades and the northern Sierra Nevada. Chain controls were put into effect for vehicles on major Sierra highways and authorities discouraged mountain travel.
Motorists were urged to bring warm clothing, food and water.
"You never know when you could get stuck in snow or long travel delays occur," the Sacramento office of the National Weather Service wrote.
- Interstate 80:
- Chains: Required from Cisco to Truckee eastbound and from Truckee to Yuba Pass westbound.
- Tractor-trailers: Closed from Applegate to Nevada state line.
- Highway 50:
- Chains: Required from Kyburz to Meyers
CalFire crews rescued a driver that drive off Interstate 80 near Whitmore.
WATCH: 3 crashes in 10 minutes:
Accounts to Follow:
► Check the Caltrans road information tool for the latest on any highway in California.
Gusty winds are prompting a Wind Advisory to stay in effect for the Central and Northern Sacramento Valley through Thursday morning. Impacts include difficult travel for high profile vehicles, possible power outages and downed tree branches.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the Sierra through Friday morning above 5,000 feet. Travel is not advised in the Sierra. Snow level starts near 7,000 feet but will lower to near 5,000 feet Thursday. Snow level will be as low as 4,500 feet by early Friday with little accumulation at this elevation.
Instability builds through Thursday, which brings a chance of thunderstorms throughout the day. Small hail, gusty winds and some funnel clouds are possible with these storms.
Showers are expected to linger through early Friday, mainly in the Sierra, which could prolong travel delays in the high country. The Valley has the potential of getting around one inch of rain.
Dry weather returns this weekend.
Winter was a no-show from January through March in California. Thursday's update by the U.S. Drought Monitor showed wide swaths of the state in extreme or severe drought, but the report noted recent weeks of beneficial moisture.