The Yuba-Sutter area seems to have traded fire weather for winter weather.
Scattered thunderstorms and hail are in the forecast for today, with wind expected to be around 10-15 miles per hour with gusts up to 20 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
Bill Rasch with the NWS described the thunderstorms today as being “splash and dash” and said the high will be about 50 degrees. The low today is expected to be around 36 degrees. He said small hail would likely fall. On Thanksgiving Day, the chance of showers or thunderstorms are slight at around 30 percent, with highs between 45-50 degrees.
For those driving for Thanksgiving, Rasch said Tuesday afternoon to Tuesday night would be the worst time, with snow in the Sierra mountain area as low as 1,500 feet and possible white-out conditions. He said the poor conditions will extend into Wednesday with snow not as continuous but still problematic at different times during the day. There will also be windy conditions along with the snow.
Caltrans District 3 said in a press release that motorists should count on increased travel time due to possible highway closures for those traveling through the Sierra region on interstate 80, highway 50 and state routes 20, 28, 49, 89 and 267.
“If they haven’t already left then I don’t recommend they leave now,” Raquel Borrayo with Caltrans District 3 said.
Chain controls over Donner Summit and Echo Summit and other Sierra mountain roadways should be anticipated through Thursday evening with trained and permitted chain installers on I-80 who will be identifiable by a reflective sign with their bib number, according to the release.
Caltrans reminded drivers to ensure tires are properly inflated, have good tread and to have water, blankets, snacks, a flashlight and full tank of gas before entering the mountain level.
For those traveling back on Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving, NWS is tracking a storm that will have travel impacts, Rasch said. The intensity of the storm is not known at this time but snow levels are expected in the Sierra mountain area at 5,000 feet starting Saturday. Rain is expected at lower elevations. Rasch suggested people check the latest forecast before heading back after the holiday.