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.
3/4/23 2:41 p.m. — State Route 175 is open from Hopland to State Route 29 in Lake County after being closed due to snow earlier today. Conditions can change, especially with more snow and rain in the forecast. Check state road conditions before you travel here. Drive carefully!
3/4/23 1:20 p.m. — The Hopland Fire Protection District is asking residents to “stay home and stay safe” as road conditions deteriorate and snow and rainfall ramp up. The district reminds travelers that “If you have to go out, make sure you carry extra provision for yourself and others in your car in the event you get stuck somewhere you don’t want to be!”
A number of businesses have temporarily closed due to the weather, and events are being canceled — we recommend calling ahead if you are planning on going places.
3/4/23 11:14 a.m. — National Weather Service Eureka reports that the heaviest showers along the coast will be seen this afternoon. Small hail may accumulate and create slippery conditions.
California Highway Patrol reports that State Route 175, which is closed due to heavy snow, is also closed due a vehicle roll over. Please stay off the roads if you can.
Reports of businesses and community services closing due to the weather are trickling in from Willits. Please call ahead before you head out to stores, shops, or other services.
3/4/23 10:35 a.m. — State Route 175 is closed just east of the Nacomis Indians Rancheria to State Route 29 due to snow. Sherwood Rd. and N. Main St. in Willits has reopened after an accident was cleared.
3/4/23 9:40 a.m. — Snow is falling in northern Mendocino County, leading to a number of dangerous road hazards, such as vehicles blocking lanes and power lines down on Highway 101 north of Leggett, north of Willits and at the Ridgewood grade. Sherwood Road is closed at N. Main Street in Willits, and there are vehicles reported blocking the westbound lane.
The chain requirements that were in place for State Route 20 west of Willits and State Route 1 west of Leggett this morning have ended.
The Moss Grove rest area on Highway 101, near the junction of State Route 162, is closed due to a power outage. Snow plows are currently clearing roads along Highway 101 in multiple locations and SR 20, but conditions remain dangerous and are changing rapidly.
State Senator Mark McGuire posted on Facebook that “Traveling north on Highway 101 this weekend is going to be tough…Traveling is not advised – especially in the higher elevations.”
MENDOCINO Co., 3/4/23 — The next winter storm arrives on the North Coast today, and may continue through early next week. Snow is expected above 1,000 feet in elevation across northern California and could accumulate even on the coast through Sunday, so avoid unnecessary travel over the next few days, and be prepared for road closures, power outages, and other possible damage from the storm.
We’ve put together an overview of what’s to still come, and included some additional resources at the end of the article. We also have a winter weather info guide we recommend you bookmark, and information about FEMA assistance, CalFresh replacements, and other storm aid on our website..
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.
As of 8 a.m. today, state routes and highways in Mendocino County are open, but conditions to the north are deteriorating: snow has begun to accumulate on U.S. Highway 101 in Del Norte County and there are a number of collisions and wintry road conditions reported in Humboldt County as low as 150 feet in elevation. This storm is also expected to impact road conditions across the northern half of the state in mountainous areas and high elevation passes.
Chains are currently required on two State Routes in the county as of 8:30 a.m.: 4 miles west of Willits on a portion of State Route 20 and on State Route 1 ¼ mile west of Hales Grove to just west of the intersection of SR 1 and highway 101. California Highway Patrol is escorting all traffic due to the conditions.
Winter weather is anticipated to be heavier this morning as the storm moves south today. If you are planning to travel, please prepare with emergency equipment such as blankets, water and food, and snow chains. You can check your route on the Caltrans Quickmap here.
As of now, there are around 500 PG&E customers who have been without power since February 22 – 24, located in northeastern parts of interior Mendocino County, including in the Legget, Laytonville, and Brooktrails areas; current estimated time of restoration for these outages varies between March 4 – 5. There are also a number of smaller outages across the county — you can check for individual outage information on the PG&E outage map here.
This storm is expected to bring wind gusts, and additional snow accumulation could lead to more downed trees and power lines, so it’s recommended to prepare for additional outages over the next several days.
What to expect with the weather inland on Saturday, Mar. 4
A winter storm warning is in place until 4 p.m. Sunday Mar. 5. for the interior of Mendocino County, including Leggett, Laytonville, Piercy, Willits, Potter Valley and Round Valley. NWS Eureka forecasts that in areas at or lower than 1,000 feet in elevation will start with rain that may possibly transition into snow in the afternoon, specifically in Willits and Potter Valley. Heavy snow above 1,000 feet in elevation could accumulate from 7 inches near 1,000 feet to 2 feet across higher ridges, as well as areas like Leggett, Piercy and Laytonville. Snow may accumulate at elevations below 1,000 feet elevation in the north part of the county. Snow is expected to be the heaviest on Saturday. Gusty winds will also make an appearance on Saturday, with ridgetops seeing between 30 to 40 mph wind gusts.
Southern inland, including Ukiah, Hopland, and Boonville will see showers today and possible thunderstorms in the afternoon that may be accompanied by hail. Rain will continue overnight. These areas are not under any weather warnings or advisories.
What to expect with the weather on the coast on Saturday, Mar. 4
The entire Mendocino Coast remains under a winter storm advisory until 4 p.m. Sunday Mar. 5. The coast will see rain all day and throughout the evening. Thunderstorms will likely accompany the rain — in fact, lightning and thunder was reported in Elk this morning. NWS Eureka forecasts that the coast can also see hail, sleet and wet snow accumulating up to one inch near sea level and that “travel could be very difficult” due to icy conditions. Please see below for our prior forecast, including further information on what can be expected inland.
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