The Fresno office of the California Highway Patrol used social media Wednesday morning to warn about the dangers of driving in snowy conditions in the foothills and mountains.

The CHP’s main message in the midst of the Valley’s first winter weather event: “Yes really! Chains ARE required.”

The CHP also reminded drivers of four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles that they — not just drivers of two-wheel drive vehicles — must carry chains in chain-controlled areas.

The Fresno CHP offers these safety tips:  Be prepared with snow chains, a full tank of gas, and warm clothes in the event you get caught in a prolonged road closure or an emergency situation.

Shaver Lake resident Kevin Ryan said on Facebook that the truck in the picture spun out on Highway 168 just below Shaver Lake.

China Peak Says It Will Open Friday for Skiing

Skichinapeak.com reported that it had gotten more than 2 feet of snow through mid-afternoon Wednesday and would open for skiing Friday.

“More is on the way, including tonight and Thanksgiving Day. The snow is incredibly light, so it doesn’t pack down to a deep base,” the resort operators said. “Hopefully, we’ll see another few feet before Friday. We’re not certain yet what will open, for sure Chair 6 and the 400 (foot) beginner carpet, with maybe Chair 1 or Chair 4, depending on weather the next 40 hours.”

China Peak said it would provide an update Thursday morning.

National Weather Service Forecast

The Wednesday morning forecast from NWS Hanford said that the storm “will continue to impact Central California through the Thanksgiving holiday. The heaviest precipitation is expected Wednesday. Holiday travel could be problematic as accumulating snowfalls at and below pass levels.”

Forecasters are expecting rain totals to be about a half-inch on the Valley’s west side and 1 inch on the east side.

More specifically, NWS Hanford said, “Heaviest snowfall is expected for the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada but snow levels will drop to around 2,000 feet tonight and early Thursday which means some snowfall will be seen over the coastal hills and in the Sierra Foothills.

“A few snowflakes could mix in even as low as 1,500 feet. Gusty winds will also accompany this system with (the) strongest winds in the higher elevations.”

Forecasters are expecting rain totals to be about a half-inch on the Valley’s west side and 1 inch on the east side.

Shaver Lake Webcam Photos

Photo of snow covered West Village at Shaver Lake

The West Village at Shaver Lake, California (West Village webcam)

Photo of Shaver Lake as recorded by the Shaver Gas webcam

The scene at Shaver Lake. (Shaver Gas webcam)

Snow Closes Roads, Services at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite officials said Wednesday morning that Tioga Road, which is the continuation of Highway 120 through the park, and Glacier Point Road are closed for the season due to snow.

They also said that chains may be required on other roads. For more specific information, call 209 372-0200 (then 1, 1) for road conditions.

In addition, Upper Pines Campground, Camp 4, and Hodgdon Meadow Campground, as well as the tent cabins at Curry Village, are closed at least through Thursday night.

Other Curry Village rooms and cabins, Yosemite Valley Lodge, The Ahwahnee, and Wawona Hotel are open.

Interstate 80 Open to Cars With Chains, 4-Wheel Drives

Chain controls were in effect Wednesday on most Sierra passes. Commercial trucks were prohibited in the westbound lanes, but U.S. Interstate 80 was open to passenger vehicles with chains and four-while drive vehicles with snow tires all the way from Reno to Sacramento.

Up to another 10 inches of snow is possible at lake level at Tahoe with up to 18 inches at the highest elevations, the service said.

Watch: Tips for Safe Winter Driving

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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