The winter weather wallops continue. Forecasts indicate Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, and Lake Counties will be pummeled by at least two more winter systems bearing down from the Gulf of Alaska in the upcoming days.
Doug Boushey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Eureka office since 1996, urged the public to stay at home if possible between Sunday night to Tuesday morning. He expects mountain passes to be covered in 2-3’ of snow. Models suggest winds could gust up to 55 miles per hour on Monday morning with what the National Weather Services described as “near blizzard-like conditions.”
Drivers should carry chains and prepare for the possibility of closures. “If you can avoid travel, just stay home,” he said.
Early tomorrow morning, Sunday, February 26, 2022, a precipitation pattern will dump snow 2,500’ and higher from 4:00 a.m. to approximately noon.
Boushey forecasts the more significant system to hit late tomorrow night into Monday morning which could bring snow levels down to 1,000’ which would drastically affect regional roadways including Highway 299, Highway 36, large swaths of Highway 101, and even Highway 20 in Lake County. Chances of snow in the region will continue into Tuesday morning.
Multiple high-elevation points throughout the Emerald Triangle could see large accumulations of snow causing hazardous road conditions. Humboldt County’s Prairie Creek Summit and Berry Summit, and Mendocino County’s Rattlesnake Summit and Ridgewood Summit could prove dangerous for drivers.
When it comes to forecasting winter weather, Boushey said one of the harder-to-predict aspects of storms is the snow level. He told us that often meteorologists predict the level too high and find snow accumulating at a lower elevation than they predicted.
These storms will run their course by Tuesday morning and the upcoming week will prove cold with lows in the 20s across the region. Boushey looked ahead to Thursday and Friday of next week and told us there are some indications that more winter weather systems are on the horizon.
If possible, consider hunkering down and avoiding travel from Sunday night into Tuesday morning. Drivers should consider the following winter travel safety tips from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to reduce risk and stay safe:
- Allow enough time.
- Keep windshield and windows clear.
- Slow down.
- Be more observant.
- When stalled, stay with your vehicle and try to conserve fuel while maintaining warmth.
- Give snowplows room to work.