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Winter Arrives in the Valley. Expect Sierra, SoCal Travel Snarls.



Photo of a snow covered road in Yosemite National Park
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Winter finally is coming to the Valley ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, bringing high winds, rain, and snow.
If you’re headed to the Sierra, take chains.

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Caltrans Announces Road Closures

The California Department of Transportation says it will close the Sonora Pass on State Route 108, Ebbetts pass on State Route 4 and Monitor Pass on State Route 89 in advance of the storm.
Tioga Pass on State Route 120, one of the main routes in and out of Yosemite National Park, remains closed.
CalTrans says it could close more roads depending on the storm’s severity.

National Weather Service Hanford chart of weather conditions through Thanksgivingr


Are You Headed to Southern California?

The Los Angeles Times reports that snow levels are expected to plummet from 4,000 feet on Wednesday to about 2,500 feet by Thursday. So expect a significant dusting of snow — and traffic delays — on Interstate 5 over the Grapevine.
Should the Grapevine be shut down, the California Highway Patrol recommends these two alternative routes:

  • west on Highway 166 from Mettler to Santa Maria and then the south via U.S. 101;
  • or east on Highway 58 from Bakersfield to Mojave and then south via Highway 14.

Follow @CHPFortTejon on Twitter to get CHP updates on conditions over the Grapevine.

Wind Gust of 94 MPH at Mammoth Lakes

Dangerous winds in the Sierra toppled a semi-trailer truck, downed power lines, and closed a stretch of highway in Southern California on Monday ahead of the winter storm.
U.S. Highway 6 was closed due to downed power lines south of Yosemite National Park near Bishop. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries after a tractor-trailer flipped on U.S. Highway 395 near Pearsonville. The road was later reopened.
A wind gust of 94 mph was reported Monday morning at Mammoth Lakes Airport.
The NWS issued a winter storm warning for the Lake Tahoe area from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday. Eight to 18 inches of snow were possible at lake level with winds gusting as high as 60 mph.

Watch: Tips for Safe Winter Driving

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)