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: Our latest storm updates for Feb. 24 can be found here.
2/23/23 8:35 p.m. — An emergency shelter has been opened at Harwood Hall in Laytonville, located at 44400 Willis Ave., according to the United Disaster Center of Northern California.
Leggett Valley and Whale Gulch Unified, Laytonville Unified, and Willits Unified have also cancelled school for Friday, February 24.
2/23/23 7:35 p.m. — Roads across the county are being impacted by snow, vehicle collisions, and fallen trees, so if you have to travel, please carry emergency supplies — vehicles are being reported stranded in numerous locations, some of which are difficult for emergency responders to access in the current weather conditions.
There are currently traffic incidents being reported on State Routes 128, 20, 175, U.S. Highways 101 from Reynolds Highway north of Willits to State Route 271 in Piercy, and 1, as well as roads such as Bell Springs Road, Mountain House Road, and many others — you can see the California Highway Patrol incident page here. Trees are falling due to the weight of the snow and blocking roads, including on Highway 1, and traffic collisions or stranded vehicles are also leading to additional collisions or traffic impacts. Emergency responders and snow plows are working hard, but have limited capacity to respond due to the volume of incidents and wintery weather. These conditions are expected to continue overnight, and additional road closures are likely. Links for current official information across the region can be found in our winter weather information guide.
As of 7:30 p.m., there are about 650 PG&E customers without power northeast of Willits, 90 in Boonville, and 494 in Fort Bragg, where PG&E crews are on site; see the PG&E outage page here.
2/23/23 5:25 p.m. — U.S. Highway 101 is fully closed from the intersection of Branscomb Road, north of Laytonville, until the junction with State Route 271 near Piercy. Numerous spinouts and collisions have been reported in that stretch of Highway 101 in the last hour, and there is currently no estimated time of reopening.
Road conditions are deteriorating across the county, so please avoid unnecessary travel, as the storm is expected to continue overnight. Chains are required on a number of roads around the region.
Mendocino County has sent out a statement regarding the winter storms, which urges residents to have emergency supplies on hand, to avoid travel, and to take caution if on the road. The county will be updating emergency information on mendoready.org.
Here’s the full announcement from Mendocino County:
Additional significant winter weather events are projected to impact Mendocino County overnight and through the weekend. Significant additional rainfall and snow is forecast across the County. Recent snow events have left the roadways icy and wet resulting in dangerous travel conditions. Residents are urged to take necessary precautions immediately. It is highly advisable to have a supply of food, water, medications, fuel for generators, and other essential items on hand.
Exercise caution when traveling around the County as hazardous weather conditions are likely to result in downed trees and powerlines. If you must travel, please be aware of the current road conditions, carry chains, slow down, respect all road closures, do not attempt to drive through closed roads and assume all downed power lines are still energized. Remember to stay off roadways unless travel is necessary. Pull over and allow safe passing for roadcrews and first responders.
For additional preparedness information, residents can visit www.mendoready.org and follow the County of Mendocino Facebook page for situational updates.Press release from Mendocino County, 4 p.m.
2/23/23 4 p.m. — Snowfall is picking up again, and is expected to continue until Friday morning in much of the county, and with it additional traffic collisions and impacts, so please avoid travel unless necessary. Chains are required on a number of high elevation roads around the region.
As of 3:40 p.m. there are nearly 2,700 PG&E customers without power in the Fort Bragg area and to the north, and there is no estimated time of restoration — leading a number of business to close due to lack of power. You can check the PG&E outage map here.
2/23/23 11:46 a.m. — Willits Branch Library is closed due to the weather. The Mendocino County Library’s Bookmobile will be operating on a limited schedule and will not visit Hopland today. Solid Waste of Willits will not be picking up trash today. Many businesses and services are limited in Willits due to the weather. Call ahead.
2/23/23 9:30 a.m. — Redwood Community Services reports that they added a few additional beds at the emergency shelter in Ukiah last night for houseless people, and they will be operating a warming center during the day. However, the organization is requesting donations of extra blankets and towels to assist those who are trying to get off the streets — they can be dropped off at Building Bridges in Ukiah at 1045 S. State Street, or a pickup can be arranged. See their full Facebook post here.
United Disaster Relief of Northern California has announced that they will be closed today due to inclement weather.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Ukiah is responding to numerous traffic collisions in the county. CHP posted on its Facebook page the following:
Good morning, Mendocino County! As you know, we are currently experiencing severe winter driving conditions. Officers are responding to collisions across the county and we urge everyone to travel on the highways only if necessary and until the storms have abated.
Caltrans and County Roads are currently responding to locations where debris or ice are particularly hazardous. So far, the majority of our collisions have been occurring on US101 in the vicinity ot SR253, US101 at the Green Bridge in Hopland and SR20 between Road 144 and Potter Valley Rd.
But be aware that poor roadway conditions can occur anywhere. Please slow down, make sure your vehicle is roadworthy for the slick surfaces and that you are traveling with a fully charged cell phone in case you run off the road and/or experience an emergency situation.
2/23/23 8:42 a.m. — The Mendocino County Museum is closed today due to weather. Conditions in Willits, Laytonville and Leggett may result in unexpected closures of libraries, services and small businesses. Call ahead to confirm.
Redwood Waste Solutions, which serves Fort Bragg and parts of unincorporated Mendocino County, reports that there may be disruptions to service due to road conditions.
MENDOCINO Co., 2/23/23 — Mendocino County woke up to rain and snow this morning as a winter storm continues to blast California. Several inches of snow are blanketing the county this morning, with snowfall reported as far south as Hopland and as west as Point Arena, leading to a number of impacted roads and collisions throughout the region.
The wintry weather is expected to continue today, Thursday, Feb. 23, with a mix of freezing temperatures, rain, thunderstorms, hail and snow. A winter storm warning is in place for the entire county from 10 a.m. until 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 24. National Weather Service Eureka (NWS Eureka) anticipates heavy snow above 1,000 feet with total snow accumulations of 8 to 16 inches and winds with 35 mph gusts. These conditions will likely lead to dangerous travel conditions, so if you have the opportunity to stay home, it’s highly advised you do, and if you can’t, be patient and drive safely.
We’ve put together an overview of what’s to still 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. We also have a winter weather info guide we recommend you bookmark.
NWS Eureka is collecting your snow reports during this storm with the amounts, time, location, and elevation — you can submit snow reports here. If you’re interested in an overview of the statewide impacts of this storm from a meteorological perspective, we recommend checking out Daniel Swain of Weather West, who has been sharing information throughout these major weather events.
School closures and road conditions
Willits Unified School District, Willits Charter, Willits Elementary Charter School, Leggett Valley Unified, Deep Valley Christian, and Laytonville Unified School District classes are canceled today Thursday, Feb 23. Families can find school closure updates here.
A number of accidents are currently being reported throughout the county due to slick roads and dangerous conditions, including on State Routes 20, 29 and 101, as well as a number of other roads across the North Coast. Drivers can track state road conditions here.
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 plowing snow and sanding. Paved roads are priority over gravel and smaller roads.
What to expect on the coast today
Coastal areas will see rain and possibly thunderstorms, which may produce small hail. New rainfall amounts will be less than 1 inch in Westport and will be lower further south. Coastal high temperatures will range in the mid-40s. Tonight, rain showers with possible thunderstorms (and hail!) will continue in Point Arena. A mix of rain and snow showers are possible further north, from Albion to Rockport. Coastal lows will average 34 degrees.
What to expect inland today
Anderson Valley may experience a mix of rain and snow showers until mid-afternoon, followed by rain and possible thunderstorms until the evening. Daytime snow accumulation of up to 1 inch is possible. High temperature will be 43 degrees. Tonight, the valley can expect the return of the rain and snow showers. Elevations of 1,000 feet or higher can expect snow with accumulations of up to 1 inch. Lows will be freezing, around 27 degrees. The mix of rain and snow showers will continue on Friday, Feb. 24.
Ukiah and Hopland may see snow continuing until mid-morning, followed by a mix of rain and snow showers in the afternoon. Snow accumulation will be less than 1 inch. Both areas will experience rain and snow showers. Overnight, more snow will fall totaling under 1 inch. Friday, Feb. 24, will bring a mix of rain and snow showers for these areas.
North county including Willits, Laytonville and Round Valley, can expect snow all day. Willits and Covelo will see up to 3 inches of snow and Laytonville, up to 4 inches. Highs will average 38 degrees. Snow will continue into the evening and overnight, with residents waking up on Friday to 1 to 3 more inches in Willits and Covelo and 2 to 4 more inches in Laytonville. Temperatures will be below freezing. Similar conditions will continue Friday, Feb. 24, with Willits and Covelo seeing a higher likelihood of rain showers replacing snow by the afternoon.
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