A strong winter storm will blast parts of California with rain, wind and snow through early Wednesday.
In northern California, steady rain and snow is forecasted starting Sunday, with temperatures dipping below freezing across the San Joaquin Valley. In southern California, widespread moderate to heavy rain, mountain snow, gusty winds, and thunderstorms are forecasted Monday night through Tuesday.
Here are some things to keep in mind before the storm:
- Prepare an emergency kit with a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets, warm clothing, first aid kit and other items you might need for several days.
- Monitor local news and weather stations for updates.
- Pay attention to alerts and warnings from authorities.
- Use extreme caution around downed trees and slow down for debris in the street.
- Treat all non-working traffic signal lights at intersections as stop signs.
- Avoid all downed power lines and objects touching them. Report downed lines to your local authorities.
- Keep pets inside and make sure they have shelter.
Rain and Wind:
- Turn around, don’t drown. Don’t drive in water if you can’t see road markings.
- Drive in the tracks of the car in front of you to allow the car ahead to shift any standing water on the road.
- Allow extra space between cars.
- If side winds occur while driving, gently and slowly steer your car in the opposite direction.
- If your car hydroplanes, take your foot off the gas pedal and apply steady pressure on the brakes as you steer in the direction of the skid.
- Turn on headlights.
- Keep tire chains in your car. Chain controls can change depending on the region and severity of the snowstorm. Learn how to install snow chains before you leave for the mountains.
- Allow enough time. Trips to the mountains can take longer during winter months, especially if roads are icy.
- Keep your gas tank full in case you need to change routes, turn back, or get caught in traffic.
- Keep windshield and windows clear.
- Slow down. 65 miles per hour may be safe in dry weather, but snow and ice make stopping distances much longer. Also avoid sudden stops and quick direction changes.
- Be more observant. Visibility is often limited in winter weather conditions. Watch for cars with flashing lights.
- Give snowplows room to work. Stay at least four car lengths back from snowplows and snow removal equipment.
Car Emergency Kit:
In case you get stranded, keep an emergency supply kit in your car with these extras:
- Jumper cables
- Flares or reflective triangle
- Ice scraper
- Car cell phone charger
- Cat litter or sand (for better tire traction)
Know Before You Go:
QuickMap is a reliable source from Caltrans with the latest conditions, road closures, detours and more. Drivers are encouraged to download the QuickMap mobile app or use the website quickmap.dot.ca.gov.
Cal OES: Be Winter Wise
National Weather Service: National Weather Service
Check hazards in your area: Home Page – Cal MyHazards
Red Cross: Winter Weather Checklist
AAA: Tire Chains