The National Weather Service (NWS) is projecting significant rain and wind for valley areas, and potentially heavy snow and wind gusts in foothill areas above 2,000 feet. The NWS issued a Winter Storm Warning, which means there will be snow covered roads and limited visibilities. Travel is not recommended while the warning is in effect.
The NWS models show that snow may begin as early as Wednesday and continue through Saturday, with potential snow accumulations of eight to 16 inches above 2,000 feet and seven feet above 3,500 feet.
The Butte County Department of Public Works is preparing equipment and increasing staff levels to manage the impact of snowfall on county roads. Staff are also closely coordinating with the NWS to monitor potential impacts and plan accordingly.
A wind advisory is also in effect Tuesday, February 27, until 4 p.m. Residents can expect winds from 25 to 35 mph and gusts up to 45 mph. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles, and drivers should use extra caution.
Who Should Prepare
Residents throughout Butte County are encouraged to take preparedness measures in advance of the storm, especially those living above 2,000 feet. Residents at the lower elevations should be prepared for significant rainfall and wind during the next seven days.
Residents are encouraged to prepare an emergency kit. View the Office of Emergency Management website for an emergency kit checklist or visit ready.gov/build-a-kit for suggestions. Residents are also encouraged to stay off the roadways once the storm begins. If you must go out during the storm, follow the tips below and check the Butte County Road Closure webpage or the Caltrans Road Information for road conditions. Additional preparedness recommendations include:
• Make sure your propane tank is full, that you have a backup source of heat, and if you have a generator, make sure it runs and has fresh fuel.
• If the Thursday storm comes in cold, we could get some snow in places that do not normally get snow. Make sure that you have a plan for how to dig out your driveway and where you will park your car.
• Bring pets inside.
• Practice putting on your snow chains and if you don’t have any, buy some and keep them in your trunk.
• Stock your car with items including a flashlights with fresh batteries, food, water, a shovel, tow strap and jumper cables.
• Fill your gas tank before the storm begins.
• General Preparedness
• You will want to make sure you have a full supply of any essential medications for your family (including your pets).
• Ensure you have plenty of water and food in case snow makes travel difficult.
• Be sure to have an alternate means of powering your phone, such as a battery powered charger, to make sure you can stay informed even when the power goes out.
Wildfire Burn Scar Areas
Property owners in the recent wildland fire burn areas, or owners downstream of those burned areas, should be aware of the possibility of debris flow and clogged culverts and waterways. Residents should monitor their surroundings, and be prepared to leave the area if necessary. Sand and sandbags are pre-staged near the various burn areas, to make it simpler for residents to protect their property. Check the Public Works Website at www.buttecounty.net/publicworks to see the latest information and updates.
Emergency personnel are monitoring the status of the storm and conditions in our area. Residents should stay informed as the storm progresses.
• View the Butte County Road Closures website.
• Residents can register to receive emergency mass notification messages from Butte County via phone, text or email messages at buttecounty.net/MassNotification
• Residents with scanners or weather radios can listen to updates on NOAA radio, WWF67 at 162.40 MHZ. This station cannot be picked up on regular AM/FM radios but receivers can be purchased at area electronics stores for between $20 and $200. Residents can also stay tuned to local media for updates and weather warnings.
US National Weather Services Sac pictures