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.
3/6/23 6:20 p.m. — The County of Mendocino is asking residents to “please stay off the road unless travel is necessary or until road conditions improve” due to concerns about snow, hail, black ice and other dangerous road conditions in a recent Facebook post that reads:
MENDOCINO COUNTY IS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING HAZARDOUS ROAD CONDITIONS DUE TO THE WINTER STORM.
Expect heavy snow, hail, black ice, and freezing temperatures from Tuesday (3/7/23) through Thursday (3/9/23). Black ice is difficult to see and can cause slippery roads. Exercise caution and drive slowly during freezing temperatures. Always carry emergency kits that include jumper cables, a blanket, gloves, socks, water, and non-perishable foods.
Please stay off the road unless travel is necessary or until road conditions improve.
Online resources to assist with checking road conditions in Mendocino County:
CHP Traffic: cad.chp.ca.gov
Department of Transportation: http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov
State Routes: tinyurl.com/State-Routes
Road Information: https://roads.dot.ca.gov/ or call 1-800-427-7623
The Mendocino Voice’s Kate Fishman published a new article covering the current emergency situation in north Mendocino County as a result of the storm.
3/6/23 4:45 p.m. — The National Weather Service Eureka (NWS Eureka) forecasts that tomorrow, Tuesday Mar. 6, will bring heavy showers and for elevations 1,500 feet and above, heavy snow ranging from 3-6 inches. As a result, a winter weather advisory is in place for Tuesday, Mar. 7 through the early morning of Wednesday, Mar. 8. This will be the last bout Mendocino County will see with low elevation snow for the foreseeable future, according to the weather service. This weekend will bring another atmospheric river of warmer temperatures and rain, which may lead to flooding due to snow melting.
All major roads are open, however, roads are slick and the ongoing rain and snow continues to create dangerous driving conditions. The Ukiah Police Department sent out a Nixle notification stating:
Ukiah is currently experiencing hazardous road conditions. Please stay off the road if possible until road conditions improve.
Vehicle accidents continue to dot the landscape, including on State Route 1 north of Rockport and just south of Ukiah. State road conditions can be tracked here.
Power is returning to PG&E customers in Leggett and Piercy. As of this afternoon, approximately 350 customers are on their tenth day without power. PG&E is reportedly in the Leggett area. The energy company estimates that power should return to most customers by 10 p.m. tonight, Mar. 6. Outage status can be monitored here.
Round Valley Unified schools will have a late start tomorrow, Mar. 7. Elementary school starts at 10:15 a.m. and high school at 10:30 a.m. Potter Valley Unified may start late depending on weather conditions and will reach out to families in the morning.
3/6/23 1:20 p.m. — Mendocino Sheriff, Mendocino Search & Rescue, and the Mendocino County Department of Transportation are performing search and rescue due to the weather conditions on Spy Rock Rd. near Laytonville. This includes welfare checks and rescuing residents from being snowed in.
Leggett schools are having issues with its internet and staff are unable to receive emails. Families are asked to contact the school staff by text or phone.
3/6/23 12 p.m. — State Route 20 is now open from Willits to Fort Bragg after being closed briefly due to a vehicle accident.
MENDOCINO Co., 3/6/23 — Wintry weather continues to travel across Mendocino County and another winter storm is on the way for Tuesday, Mar. 7. Today, Monday, Mar. 6, showers persist throughout the county with occasional snow at elevations of 1,000 feet and above. Snow will shift up in elevation to above 2,400 feet in the afternoon. Avoid unnecessary travel and be prepared for road closures, power outages, and other possible damage from the storm.
The rain and wintry weather is expected to continue through Thursday, Mar. 9. The National Weather Service Eureka (NWS Eureka) declared a winter weather advisory for Tuesday, Mar. 7 through the early morning of Wednesday, Mar. 8. We’re also monitoring the possible return of an atmospheric river this weekend.
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; there is 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.
Road conditions are treacherous in many areas of the county. This morning, multiple car accidents have been reported along country roads, both inland and on the coast, due to slick conditions. Snow plows are currently clearing roads along Highway 101 in multiple locations and SR 20, but conditions remain dangerous and are changing rapidly. Highway 101 was closed for an hour after a big rig jackknifed after 10 a.m., Monday, Mar. 6.
State Route 175 is closed from milemaker 5.9, east of Old Hopland, to State Route 29 in Lake County. Caltrans estimated the road reopening at 9:45 a.m., Monday, Mar. 6, but it remains closed as of 11:40 a.m.
Additionally, State Route 20 is closed from James Creek to Blosser Lane in Willits due to snow and vehicle accidents. Caltrans estimates the road will reopen around 12 p.m.
The following roads and highways are under one-way traffic operation due to storm damage:
- State Route 1 from Hales Grove to U.S. Route 101
- State Route 128 from Fish Rock Rd. to the Sonoma County Line
Drivers can anticipate delays, so plan accordingly and travel carefully.
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.
Over 300 PG&E customers remain without power this morning in Piercy and Leggett. The vast majority have been without power since a prior winter storm on Feb. 23. PG&E estimates the time of restoration for today, Mar. 6. PG&E cites weather or equipment issues as the reasons for the outage and has not provided an estimated restoration time. According to various community groups on Facebook, some customers have power in Piercy and Leggett, some do not have power despite PG&E texting the customer to say they do, and others have intermittent power. 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.
PG&E customers that have been without power for 48 hours due to the winter storm may be eligible for a Storm Inconvenience Payment up to $100. Learn more here.
Potter Valley Community Unified School District, Sherwood School, Whale Gulch School, Willits Charter School and Willits Elementary Charter School are closed today. Round Valley Unified schools are on a late start schedule. School closures can be monitored here.
What to expect with the weather inland on Monday, Mar. 6.
Widespread showers will continue across inland areas today. In the north and northeast part of the county, some areas may see snow and rain showers, with snow appearing at elevations of 2,400 feet or higher, particularly in Laytonville and Round Valley. All inland areas can expect rain today, from Piercy to Hopland. Thunderstorms are possible and may be accompanied by small hail in Ukiah, Hopland, Piercy and Anderson Valley.
What to expect with the weather on the coast on Sunday, Mar. 5
Showers will continue along the entire coast with thunderstorms and small hail possible.
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
Sarah Stierch covers wildfires, breaking news, and more for The Mendocino Voice. You can follow Stierch on Twitter and learn more about her work and donate to her directly at here. Contact Stierch at [email protected]. The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.