If Traveling, Be Aware Freezing Temps Could Make Driving Treacherous

Forecasts indicate a shift in the weather this week. After a relatively mild winter thus far, the majority of California is in the midst of a significant cool down. Aside from the potential for rain and snow in various parts of the state, freezing temperatures were also expected to impact travel following a three-day holiday weekend.

In Southern California, a winter weather and wind advisory was in effect in some areas, with wind gusts up to 50 to 60 mph expected in the mountains and deserts earlier this week.

Cold air from western Canada will bring widespread freezing temperatures to Northern California Wednesday morning, per the National Weather Service. Mountain and foothill showers are possible Wednesday night and Thursday. Snow could cause slick roads and travel delays in the mountains and foothills, while a dusting of snow is possible down to 1000 feet. Due to freezing temperatures, the National Weather Service warns to take precautionary measures to protect sensitive plants, trees and pets/livestock.

As forecasts show noticeable weather changes this week and present more common winter-like temperatures, be alert and stay prepared for the next storm. Extended forecasts show below normal temperatures possibly extending into next week.

To deal with freezing temperatures and potential winter-storm inconveniences, here are some easy ways to prepare and tips to keep in mind ahead of significant weather concerns:

  • Prepare an emergency kit with a flashlight, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets, warm clothing, first aid kit and other items you might need for several days.
  • Monitor local news and weather stations for updates.
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings from authorities.
  • If you don’t have to go out, stay home.
  • Use extreme caution around downed trees and slow down for debris in the street.
  • Treat all non-working traffic signal lights at intersections as stop signs.
  • Avoid all downed power lines and objects touching them. Report downed lines to your local authorities.
  • Keep pets inside and ensure they have shelter from the elements.

To alleviate winter storm concerns, Cal OES created a one-stop informational page with additional insight on how to be prepared for specific events, including: snow and ice, flooding and rain, debris flow, extreme cold and wind.

Visit the Winter Storm Preparedness page for more in-depth tips and information.


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Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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