Caltrans said on Saturday morning that Interstate 80 was closed from Colfax to the Nevada state border due to zero visibility conditions on a snowy day in the Sierra Nevada.
Closing at 11 a.m. came because much of Northern California faced inclement weather. Highway 50 remained open, although chains were required on all four-wheel-drive vehicles between Kyburz and Meyers.
As snow fell over the Sierra Nevada on Saturday, the Sacramento area received more rain after a week of wet weather.
The National Weather Service’s Sacramento office has predicted that the Sacramento Valley could even experience thunderstorms and hail between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Saturday alone could bring up to half an inch of rain for the valley, according to a weather service forecast.
And the rain is here to stay, for now. Meteorologists have predicted up to two inches of rain for the city of Sacramento from Saturday to Wednesday. The heaviest precipitation was forecast from Sunday afternoon to Monday. The area was also expected to experience fast winds throughout the weekend.
Wind gusts in Sacramento and Grass Valley were expected to reach between 25 and 30 mph. South Lake Tahoe could see gusts of up to 50 mph.
On Saturday mornings, the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, located at Donner Pass near I-80, recorded 7.2 inches of snow in 24 hours.
The weather service predicted even more snow in the days to come, issuing a winter storm warning for the Sierra Nevada from Saturday evening to Tuesday morning. Meteorologists have predicted 3 to 6 feet of snow on the mountains during this period, plus 2 to 4 feet of snow in the foothills at elevations above 1,000 feet.
“A winter storm warning for snow means there will be snow-covered roads and limited visibility,” meteorological service officials wrote in their storm warning. “It is not recommended to travel while the warning is in effect. “