Tahoe travel: Heading to the Sierra this weekend? Here's the best time to go amid winter storm

Friday, December 2, 2022
Authorities warn of dangers traveling up to Sierra this weekend
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The Placer County Sheriff's Office is advising people to delay their travel plans to the Sierra until after the storms pass.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Our latest winter storm is dropping feet of fresh powder in the Sierra.

The California Highway Patrol in Truckee says to be prepared for chain controls, lengthy delays, possible road closures and whiteout conditions at times.

CHP Truckee tweeted pictures of jackknifed semis on I-80, which was closed to drivers on Wednesday because of high winds and low visibility over Donner Summit.

VIDEO: From jackknifed big rigs to road closures, 1st major winter storm hits Sierra

From jackknifed big rigs to whiteout conditions, the first major storm of the season left the Sierra Nevada blanketed in feet of snow.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office is advising people to delay their travel plans to the Sierra until after the storms pass.

"You have to weigh your options is it worth it? The biggest thing for us is the safety factor, besides the traffic backups. It's people getting stuck, spinning out and causing accidents. They're things that can be avoided if you just wait a week for the storm to pass and then you head up back to the mountains and snow and have your fun," says Angela Musallam, Placer County Sheriff PIO.

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Musallam also says storms like this cause major delays and accidents.

"We understand the allure of the snow, it's Dec. 1, everyone wants to play in the snow. But we don't encourage travel to the mountains during these storms simply because of the traffic as well. There are times when it takes people 4-6 hours to get to Tahoe when it would normally take an hour and a half," she says.

The wind caused Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort to close several of its lifts, so if you end up going you'll want to check on those closures at whichever resort you visit.

MAP: Track Bay Area, Northern California traffic in real-time

Keep in mind those strong wind gusts are always a big problem for high-profile vehicles on the roads.

ABC7 Meteorologist Drew Tuma says, if you are thinking about traveling to the Sierra, Friday is looking good. He says our storm will be gone, leaving us with bright sunshine.

VIDEO: ABC7 Meteorologist Drew Tuma details what to expect if you're traveling to Tahoe

Here's the best time to travel up to the Sierra as our latest winter storm drops fresh powder.

Do not travel Saturday or Sunday as another winter storm will move in and again drop snow levels to around 3,500 feet and will bring about difficult to impossible travel with heavy snow and gusty winds.

On Monday you should use caution while traveling to and from the Sierra. Our winter storm will be winding down and roads will likely still be very slick.

If you do end up driving to the Sierra in the next few days, make sure you are prepared in case you get stuck.

Plan to pack blankets, extra clothes, a flashlight, batteries, extra food and water and have a full tank of gas.

Watch the latest AccuWeather forecast here and get the latest weather stories and videos here.


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