Stormy Weather Temporarily Closes Mountain Passes
Sonora, CA – All three of the Mountain Passes have been temporarily closed as cold wet weather has moved into the region and will linger for the next two days.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Advisory for the Sierra Nevada above 5,500 feet, from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon, as earlier reported here. Caltrans District 10 spokesperson Bob Highfill says the decision was made to close Highway 108 Sonora Pass and Highway 4 Ebbetts Pass at 2 p.m. yesterday (Mon. 6).
“The estimated time for reopening the passes will be determined by the impact of the weather,” says Highfill. “These are not considered to be season closures at this time pending further notice.”
Highway 120 Tioga Pass has already been closed for the past several weeks and tonight at 6 pm Glacier Point Road will temporarily close due to a forecast of snow, according to Yosemite National Park officials. Whether this will result in its seasonal closure will depend on how much snow accumulates, the condition of the roadway and the weather forecast for the weeks to follow.
The last time the Mountain Passes were shut down was in November for a blustery, snowy storm. After the system passed, road crews removed fallen trees, snow and ice from the passes. Sonora and Ebbetts reopened on November 15th, as reported here.
Highfill added that Caltrans encourages motorists to winterize their vehicles and travel with an emergency kit and chains during this time of year. To find out road conditions 24/7 go to the mymotherlode.com homepage and click on traffic.