No major change expected to arrive with winter | RecordCourier.com

No major change expected to arrive with winter

Staff Reports

Forecasters are predicting the first day of winter on Friday won't look that different from the last day of fall today.

Sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s are forecast through the weekend leading up to Christmas, with a slight chance of rain on Sunday and Monday.

But up in the Sierra all the signs of winter are already in place.

Monitor, Ebbetts, Sonora and Tioga passes have been closed for the winter since the end of November.

The Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest's Bridgeport Ranger District opened for snowmobiling starting Dec. 15.

Currently, the snow depth is approximately 26 inches up to 50 inches deep throughout most of the area, which meets the minimum requirement of two feet that is needed to open the area. The People's Gate on California State Route 108 has 10 inches of snow with 26 to 50 inches at Sonora Pass beyond the Leavitt Lake turnoff.

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According to the U.S. Forest Service, the recreation area's snowpack should hold with cool temperatures and more snow that arrived on Sunday night.

U.S. Forest Service officials remind winter recreationists to beware of creek crossings and obstacles, which are minimally covered at this time.

Permits are required for each person/snowmobile entering the area. They are free and can be obtained online at http://www.bridgeportavalanchecenter.org/. Permits are also available at the People's Gate kiosk (self-issued); Bridgeport Ranger District HC62, Box 1000, Bridgeport, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and Carson Ranger District 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 536 S. Carson St., Carson City.

Mountain drivers are reminded to carry chains and to be prepared for winter driving conditions.

Caltrans recommends carrying blankets, water, food, a shovel, gloves, a flashlight, and sand or kitty litter to provide traction in case your vehicle becomes stuck. The traveling public is advised to drastically slow down and proceed with caution.

CHAIN REQUIREMENTS

IN NEVADA

Chains or snow tires required: Vehicles less than 10,000 pounds gross weight are required to use snow tires or approved traction devices. Vehicles greater than 10,000 pounds must use chains on driving wheels and braking wheels of trailer. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are OK with four mud-snow tires.

Chains mandatory: Chains required on all vehicles, except four-wheel-drive with four mud-snow tires

For latest road conditions, visit http://www.nvroads.com or call 1-877-NV-ROADS

IN CALIFORNIA

All vehicles must carry chains when in chain control areas.

Requirement 1: Chains are required on all vehicles except passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks under 6,000 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires on at least two drive wheels. All vehicles towing trailers must have chains on one drive axle. Trailers with brakes must have chains on at least one axle.

Requirement 2: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/ all-wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.

Requirement 3: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.

For the latest road condition information, visit quickmap.dot.ca.gov or call 1-800-427-7623.