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: For our latest storm coverage for Feb. 28, see our report here.
2/27/23 7:45 p.m. — State Route 175 from Hopland to Lake County is open again. State Route 253 from Boonville to Ukiah and State Route 128 from Cloverdale to Boonville both remain closed. Drivers can track state road conditions here.
Leggett Gas reports that it received a delivery of propane gas.
2/27/23 6:35 p.m. — State Route 253 is now closed from Boonville to Ukiah due to snow. State Route 128 remains closed from south of Boonville to Cloverdale.
Although a number of roads have reopened earlier today, dropping temperatures are leading to additional snow accumulation on the roads tonight, and subsequently, a number of new spinouts, traffic issues, and reports of downed power lines. If you have to travel tonight, take extreme caution and be aware that conditions may change quickly.
Willits Unified is currently planning to begin on a two hour delay for Tuesday, Feb. 28.
2/27/23 4:30 p.m. — In its evening forecast, NWS Eureka reports that showers will continue to move onshore tonight with possible thunderstorms and hail along the coast. Inland, heavy snow is possible over 2,000 ft. Highway passes, including the Ridgewood Grade near Willits, are expected to receive 2 to 6 inches of snow overnight, which means likely hazardous road conditions tomorrow morning. A winter weather advisory remains in place for the coast until 10 p.m. tonight and a winter storm warning is in place until 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 28, for northern inland Mendocino County.
Regarding road conditions, District Supervisor Ted Williams posted on Facebook the following:
Mendocino County Department of Transportation is actively clearing roadways with crews working extra long shifts. The rapidly changing conditions make the publication of road conditions problematic. By the time crews open a road and leave to inspect another, trees fall, and status becomes stale. If your travel isn’t necessary, staying put until the storm concludes is safest.
2/27/23 1:30 p.m. — SR 20 has reopened from Willits to Fort Bragg as of 1:15 p.m. SR 128 from south of Boonville to Cloverdale, and a portion of SR 175 remain closed.
Local fire departments are asking residents to NOT call them regarding road conditions due to the number of life safety incidents that need to be responded to. 911 should be called for life threatening emergencies only. Resources on traffic monitoring can be found in our winter weather guide here.
National Weather Service Eureka (NWS Eureka) reports as of 12:19 p.m. that showers are moving onshore bringing periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms. Heavy rain and small hail may impact State Route 1 and other smaller roads this afternoon. Accumulated hail on roads can make for slippery surfaces. NWS Eureka advises to not slam the brakes on hail covered roads and to instead ease off the gas pedal and avoid-overcorrecting. Additionally, the National Weather Service Bay Area has issued a special marine warning for Point Arena coastal waters until 2 p.m. today. The area may see hail, wind greater than 34 kts, and waterspouts.
This storm is impacting roads throughout the state today and tomorrow, so please check along your route for roadways outside of Mendocino County if you are traveling — although we don’t recommend it.
2/27/23 12:25 p.m. — As of 12:15 p.m., Mendocino County Department of Transportation notes that Mina Road, Poonkinney Road, Soy Rock Road, and Bell Springs Road are all closed due to snow. It is likely that a number of smaller roads around the county that reach higher elevations are also impacted, but conditions have been changing rapidly. Emergency crews and plows are working around the county to clear roads and traffic incidents.
Some inland waste collection routes will be impacted today, announced Redwood Waste Solutions: “Due to the weather conditions today, some routes are being affected within Inland Mendocino County. As of now, the coast is not being affected. Anything we miss today or tomorrow should be recovered on Wednesday weather permitting.”
2/27/23 11:35 a.m. — SR 253 has reopened between Boonville and Ukiah; portions of SR 175, 128, 101 and 20 remain closed.
Mendocino Transit Authority has canceled route 65 between Ukiah and Fort Bragg due to the closure of State Route 20 and route 75 between Navarro and Ukiah due to the closure of State Route 253. Conditions are changing rapidly. Call (800) 696-4MTA for more information. All Lake County Transit routes have also been canceled.
The Covelo and Upper Lake offices of the Mendocino National Forest are closed due to power outages and hazardous conditions.
Lightning is being reported in Leggett and Rockport. The area is seeing rainstorms and thunderstorms are possible. Check your local forecast here.
2/27/23 10:40 a.m. — SR 101 has reopened from Redwood Valley to Willits. However, portions of State Route 101 remain closed. As of 10:15 a.m. Feb 27, Caltrans reports that SR 101 remains closed from Shell Ln. in Willits to Sprowl Creek in Garberville due to snow and dangerous conditions. Motorists are advised to use an alternate route. Drivers can track state road conditions here.
According to the Mendocino County Office of Transportation, Sherwood Rd. is closed entirely for traffic down to Main St. in Willits. Snow and downed trees and power lines are in the roadway, making travel treacherous. Approximately 80 PG&E customers in Brooktrails are without power as of 10:09 a.m. Feb. 27.
2/27/23 10:24 a.m. — Over 1,200 Round Valley PG&E customers are without power as of 7:27 a.m. this morning due to weather conditions. It is unknown when power will be restored. For many customers, it could days before power is restored due to road and weather conditions, which, according to PG&E, can make it challenging for PG&E crews to access areas or work safely. Monitor outage conditions here.
The Waldorf School of Mendocino County canceled classes for the day.
2/27/23 9:45 a.m. — U.S. Highway 101 is now open at the Willits grade in both direction. Southbound traffic will be stopped at 101 and the intersection of Harwood Road in Laytonville until the roads can be plowed, according to scanner traffic — you can track the closure of this and other roads on the Caltrans Quickmap here.
Traffic control is in place for southbound highway 101 at the Calpella offramp due to an accident.
Willits City Councilmember Greta Kanne is asking drivers to stay off the roads on Facebook:
It’s a snowy world out there. Willits city crews are trying to get ahead of road conditions, but please don’t drive if you don’t have to. Stay warm and safe, check on your friends and neighbors. No reports yet of power outages in town so let’s hope it stays that way!
Brooktrails Township Fire Department is also asking the sharing “Don’t drive, the roads are impacted and there is no reason to risk it!”
Many local businesses and services are closing today or running on limited hours. Be sure to call ahead or be patient.
2/27/23 9:20 a.m. — Caltrans is planning to implement a closure at Highway 101 south of Laytonville, because people are continuing to try and drive south to Willits despite the highway closure, and CHP is reporting that there are 25 – 30 vehicles stuck at Shamrock Ranch, south of Laytonville as of just before 9 a.m. There are several collisions reported in 101 between Laytonville and Willits, including a multi-vehicle collision that may involve injuries.
The closure of SR 20 has been expanded from Fort Bragg/SR 1 to Blosser Ln. in Willits. There is no estimated time of reopening. Drivers can track state road conditions here.
Emergency responders are stretched thin and having difficulty accessing collisions — including a report of an electrical hazard due to a problem with power lines on Dos Rios Road. Once more, please avoid any unnecessary travel!
2/27/23 8:45 a.m. — Snow is beginning to accumulate on SR 20 leading to pile-ups and the road is closed from Willits to James Creek. There are also spinouts being reported on SR 20 in Lake County.
There are numerous traffic collisions all around the county, leading to pile-ups and additional collisions, and emergency responders are working hard to respond to individual incidents. Vehicles are being reported off the road at Highway 101 in Hopland and near the Rock Shop north of Cloverdale due to snowy conditions — please avoid any unnecessary travel today.
MENDOCINO Co., 2/27/23 — Portions of Mendocino County are waking up to heavy snow and rain once again as a third winter storm pummels the region. As a result, road closures across the county are increasing and State Route 101 is closed throughout the majority of the county from Redwood Valley to Garberville.
The State Route 101 corridor is becoming increasingly littered with reports of vehicle accidents and heavy snow. As a result, the entire highway is closed from N. State St./Uva Dr. just northwest of Redwood Valley to Garberville in Humboldt County. State Route 253 is closed from the junction with SR 128 to Ukiah due to snow.
Additionally, State Route 1 is fully closed from State Route 271, just west of Highway 101, to Cottaneva Creek just north of Rockport, due to dangerous road conditions, including downed trees and power lines. There is no estimated time of reopening. Additionally, a portion of State Route 271 is closed from Reynolds Overcrossing, south of Piercy, to State Route 101, and there is no estimated time of reopening.
In the southern part of the county, State Route 128 remains closed due to hazardous conditions from Robinson Creek in Anderson Valley to the Sonoma County line near Cloverdale. State Route 175 is also closed from Buckman Dr. east of Hopland to State Route 29 also due to snow. There is no estimated time of reopening for either of these closures. Drivers can track state road conditions here.
The South Coast Fire Protection District asks that people not travel on Fish Rock Road due to dangerous conditions unless absolutely necessary. The district cleared over 500 trees from the road, however, debris and heavy snow still abound. Travelers that use the road should use chains and have a four-wheel drive vehicle.
School closures and power outages
The following schools are closed on Monday, Feb. 27 due to weather and road conditions: La Vida Charter School, all Laytonville Unified schools, Sherwood School, Whale Gulch School, Willits Elementary Charter School, and Willits Charter School. Round Valley Unified has a late start with classes starting at 10:15 a.m at the elementary and middle school and 10:30 at the high school. Willits Unified is closed for the day.
Over 1,185 PG&E customers are without power in the county, with the largest outages in Leggett, Laytonville, Round Valley, Hopland, and unincorporated areas of western Ukiah. This is a decrease from Sunday, Feb. 26. For many customers, it could be another day or two before power is restored due to road and weather conditions, which, according to PG&E, can make it challenging for PG&E crews to access areas or work safely. Monitor outage conditions here.
What to expect with weather-wise Monday, Feb. 27
Heavy snow will continue in the mountains today Monday, Feb. 27, and may occasionally touch down in interior valley areas. According to National Weather Service Eureka (NWS Eureka), the heaviest snow will fall this morning creating “blizzard like” conditions followed by showers into the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 28, bringing possible thunderstorms and hail. The wet weather will subside on Wednesday, bringing dry conditions and cold temperatures.
Inland regions, especially along the State Route 101 corridor, will continue to see the brunt of this current storm system with snow blanketing primarily the northern part of the region from Redwood Valley to Piercy. Snow may continue to fall as low as 1,000 ft. in some areas, however, mountainous areas and highway ridges including Ridgewood Grade and Rattlesnake Summit into Tuesday morning.
Much of the area remains under a winter storm warning through 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, including Willits, Leggett, Laytonville, Covelo, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, Ukiah, and Hopland. The wind advisory has expired. The entire Mendocino Coast is under a winter weather advisory until 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27.
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 Feb. 28. 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 these storms from a meteorological perspective, we recommend checking out Daniel Swain of Weather West, who has been sharing information throughout these major weather events.
Mendocino County’s many microclimates mean the weather conditions may vary based on your location, especially by elevation. You can check for the specific forecast for your neighborhood and on current road conditions as they develop.
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