Rain Combined With Freezing Temps Could Make Thankgiving Travel A Challenge
UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 27, 4:15 p.m. ... The wind has calmed and the snow is tapering off. But wet roads are likely to turn icy around the region as temperatures drop Wednesday evening into Thanksgiving Day.
ODOT advises: I-5 northbound is now open in California with no chain restrictions. Caltrans reports CHP is escorting traffic from north of Redding to the Oregon border.
Caltrans warns of heavy traffic and delays, so wait if possible until this long queue clears before hitting the road.
Expect heavy traffic into Oregon once this long line of traffic comes across later this afternoon into the evening. Be prepared for winter driving this weekend.
UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 27, 8:45 a.m. … High winds have largely diminished, but an early winter storm continues to dump snow through Southern Oregon and Northern California. The weather is still creating hazardous driving conditions, but after a series of major highway closures around the region, roads are beginning to re-open. A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect until Wednesday at 2p.m.
Interstate 5 southbound at Ashland is now open. Chains required all vehicles except 4x4s, unless towing. ODOT says drivers should expect winter driving condistions, with slow moving traffic and congestion until the back-up from the overnight closure of Siskiyou Pass clears.
Caltrans reports northbound I-5 still closed north of Redding.
High Cascade Highways - Oregon 138E, 62 and 230 - are again open after blizzard conditions yesterday and last night. Be prepared for winter weather travel. Chains required on all vehicles, except 4x4s unless towing.
On US97 at the Oregon - California border, southbound is now open, northbound remains closed.
Monitor Tripcheck and http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ for the latest. updates,
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 27, 5:45 a.m. ... Interstate 5 southbound into California remains closed this morning at Ashland exit 11.
We are awaiting word after day break from Caltrans on the latest conditions in the Mt. Shasta-Dunsmuir area where blizzard conditions forced the closure last night at about 10 p.m.
One new closure: Caltrans reports U.S. 97 south is closed at the Dorris agricultural station.
Tranportation officials say common sense and safety are the key words today. They urge drivers to stay on maintained state highways and to not use GPS to try to navigate around closures.
"If an interstate freeway is not passable due to snow, please don't think an unmaintained or limited winter maintenance road is better," said Jeremiah Griffin, ODOT Assistant ODOT District Manager.
Currently, Oregon 66 and Dead Indian Memorial Roads are partially blocked by semis that tried to get around the I-5 closure.
Oregon 138 east of Roseburg remains closed due to blizzard conditions from Toketee east to U.S. 97. Oregon 62 from Prospect north, including Oregon 230 to Diamond Lake Junction, is also closed due to white out conditions
Oregon 255 (Carpenterville Highway) is now open. The highway had been closed earlier today after high winds knocked down trees and power lines in the Brookings area.
TUESDAY, NOV. 26, 5:45 p.m ... Schools and businesses closed early on Tuesday afternoon, as drivers rushed to avoid the predicted mess on the roads. Currently, swirling snow is falling on Interstate 5 from Redding to the mountain passes between the Rogue Valley and the Umpqua Basin. Chains are required south of Ashland and delays are reported going over Siskiyou Pass.
Oregon 138 east of Roseburg is closed due to blizzard conditions from Toketee east to U.S. 97. Oregon 62 from Prospect north, including Oregon 230 to Diamond Lake Junction, is also closed due to white out conditions. Oregon 255 (Carpenterville Highway), which parallels U.S. 101 between Pistol River and Brookings, is closed due to downed trees.
In California, CalTrans has closed northbound I-5 10 miles north of Redding at the Fawndale Rd. exit.
Winds gusts of up to 70 miles per hour are predicted in some areas Tuesday evening, decreasing overnight, but snow is likely to continue through the region well into Wednesday. Accumulations of a foot or more are expected in the mountains, several inches on the valley floors. Whiteout conditions are possible, and downed trees and power lines could block roads.
The National Weather Service calls for overnight lows below freezing in many areas, with snow tapering off by late Wednesday night. Thanksgiving Day will likely be clear and sunny, but temperatures will remain near or below freezing into the weekend.