This is a developing situation and information may change. We’ll update this article as more information becomes available. The most recent information will be updated at the top of the article, with the earlier reports below.
Editor’s note: See our latest storm updates for 2/23/23 here.
2/22/23 3:11 p.m. — State Route 101 is completely open from Piercy to French’s Camp. It was closed this morning by Caltrans after a semi-truck overturned.
Additionally, the entire county will be under a winter storm warning from 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 through 10 a.m. Friday, Feb 24. Originally, this warning was only for inland regions, however, NWS Eureka forecasts that snow will fall at sea level tonight and tomorrow, hence the warning expansion to the coast. According to the NWS, a warning means that a region may see heavy snow of 6 inches in 12 hours or 8 inches in 24 hours, or sleet of ½ inch or more. Read the latest NWS Eureka forecast, published at 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, here.
MENDOCINO Co., 2/22/23 – A winter storm is well underway in Mendocino County. Depending on where you live, you may have awakened to snow, rain, icy roads, and/or power outages caused by yesterday’s raging winds. Despite sunny skies in some places, the storm continues today and is anticipated to bring more snow and wintry conditions to the region. We’ve put together an overview of what’s to come, and included some additional resources at the end of the article — plus we’ll keep you updated throughout the storm, which is expected to last until Friday morning, Feb. 24.
Schools, roads, and power outages
As of this morning, Wednesday Feb. 22., all Mendocino County schools are in session.
Over 1,100 PG&E customers remain without power, the majority coastal residents who lost power Tuesday Feb. 22, in the afternoon. Customers can monitor their PG&E outage status here.
Drivers should expect delays on State Route 101 starting north of Piercy to French’s Camp in Humboldt County due to a big rig that rolled over. The highway is fully closed, yet Caltrans is operating one-way traffic control. Caltrans reports that State Route 101 is fully closed yet operating with one-way traffic control. No anticipated time of full reopening has been reported.
Caltrans also advises travelers heading north of Willits or over to Lake County to bring chains due hazardous driving conditions, although the roads are clear as of 10 a.m.. The Mendocino County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is asking drivers to “avoid unnecessary trips” and if travel is required, to “please slow down and expect icy conditions.” MCDOT crews began plowing snow and sanding at 4 a.m. and will continue as needed through 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. Paved roads are priority over gravel and smaller roads.
Wind advisories expired this morning. However, the entire county remains under a winter weather advisory until 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, with a winter storm warning in place until 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24. National Weather Service Eureka (NWS Eureka) anticipates our neighbors to the north in Humboldt, Trinity and Del Norte counties will experience the brunt of the precipitation, specifically 1-2 inches of snow above 1,000 feet in the coastal mountains and western Trinity County.
What to expect on the coast today
Coastal areas may see showers and possible thunderstorms. Thunderstorms may bring small hail. Westport might see a touch of snow, though it is not expected to accumulate. New rainfall amounts will be between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible during thunderstorms. Coastal high temperatures will range in the mid- to high-40s. Tonight, showers and thunderstorms with hail may make an appearance in Gualala and Point Arena. Further north on the coast, Fort Bragg may experience a mix of rain and snow showers. Coastal lows will average 35.
And for those hoping for a photo opportunity, NWS Eureka predicts that snow showers may occur along the coast on Thursday morning, Feb. 23, specifically “a 30% to 50% chance of a dusting of snow is possible north of the town of Mendocino and a 20% to 40% chance south of the town of Mendocino.”
Additionally, a High Surf Advisory remains in place for the entire coast until 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. Breaking waves 18 to 22 feet are expected. The agency advises against beachcombing, given waves can be erratic and unpredictable, with a danger of sweeping people into the ocean. Mariners should use extreme caution or stay in port.
What to expect inland today
After the winter weather advisory expires across the county on Thursday, Feb. 23, the entire inland region of the county, including all populated areas in Anderson Valley and Round Valley, and along State Route 101, will be under a winter storm warning until 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24.
Today, Anderson Valley may experience a mix of rain or snow showers in the morning followed by rain showers throughout the day for low lying areas. This evening, Anderson Valley will have a chance of rain and snow showers before 1 a.m., with possibly 1 to 2 inches of accumulation on Thursday, Feb. 23. Ukiah will see a mix of rain and snow showers in the day followed by snow showers after 10 p.m. Ukiah will awake to less than an inch of snow.
Further up State Route 101, Willits, Laytonville, and over in Round Valley, snow is anticipated with accumulations of less than one inch possible with temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s. Tonight, these areas may see snow showers with accumulations ranging up to 2 inches in Covelo, 3 inches in Willits, and 4 inches in Laytonville.
Thursday is when the county will see the most precipitation, with elevations of 1,000 feet expected to receive steady snowfall and some areas of interior Mendocino County seeing up to a foot of snow during the day. For example, Laytonville may see a foot of snow between Wednesday night and Friday morning.
Information is changing rapidly, and we’ll be keeping you updated on current conditions throughout the next several days. Although local agencies are preparing for the storm, emergency resources are likely to be stretched thin — if you can avoid travel, please stay off the roads for everyone’s safety.
You can read more about the storm’s original forecast in our previous article about this storm, and be sure to bookmark our winter weather information guide. There are additional resources included at the bottom of the article so you can check the exact conditions in your area.
Mendocino Voice Winter weather resources:
- Our guide for winter weather emergency and preparedness info — we recommend you bookmark this
- Check your specific forecast at this link along with the National Weather Service advisories and warnings, as well as their Facebook page and their Twitter page
- Check the CalTrans QuickMap for current road closures or call 1-800-GAS-ROAD
- Check for current accidents at the CHP traffic update page
- Caltrans traffic cameras can be seen here, and here are the PG&E cameras
- You can also check out the Weather Underground to look for weather stations in your area
- Check the PG&E current outage map to find or report power outages
- NWS has flood stage predictions here; and you can find USGS current streamflow information here
- NWS is seeking snowfall reports, and you can submit them to this website.
- We recommend meteorologist Daniel Swain’s Weather West Blog as a good place to find more in-depth current weather analysis