What to Know: I-80, Highway 50 Open Across the Sierra; Other Mountain Roads Closed

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Major storms continue to dump much-needed snow across the Sierra Nevada, but that snowfall has forced authorities to shut down key roadways in the region at times.

The two major corridors from the Bay Area were open as of Wednesday afternoon: Interstate 80 and Highway 50 reopened to all motorists, but chains are required, except on four-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires, Caltrans said.

Here's a breakdown of the mountain highway closures, tips for driving in wintry conditions as well as a look at the latest weather forecast.

Angela Daprato with Caltrans discusses the Sierra snow.

List of major Sierra mountain highway closures

As of Wednesday afternoon, the following major highways in the Lake Tahoe area were closed, according to Caltrans.

  • Highway 20 between Nevada City and Highway 20-Interstate 80 junction
  • Highway 49 from Marysville Road to Sattley
  • Highway 89 from Sierraville to Sattley; from Harper's Grade to Emerald Bay
  • Highway 88 from Dew Drop to 3.5 miles east of Silver Lake; from 3.5 miles east of Silver Lake to Kirkwood/Carson Spur

For a complete breakdown of road conditions in the mountains, follow Caltrans District 3 on Twitter, check out the Caltrans QuickMap or call 1-800-427-7623.

You can also hop on Twitter and follow a number of public safety accounts, including CHP Truckee, CHP Placerville, CHP South Lake Tahoe and Placer Sheriff.

What are some winter driving tips to keep in mind?

If you absolutely have to drive, consider these tips before you leave and while you're on the road.

  • Visit the Caltrans Quickmap for updated road conditions
  • Check your wiper blades and tire pressure
  • Have a portable phone charger with you
  • Keep a blanket, water and food in your car
  • Carry chains in your car
  • Slow down, watch out for public safety crews on the roads and leave extra space between your car and the vehicles around you

What's the weather forecast for the Sierra?

The National Weather Service said snow will continue in the Sierra through Wednesday.

A winter storm warning remains in effect through Wednesday evening.

What's the status of Lake Tahoe ski resorts?

Several Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts, including Palisades Tahoe and Northstar, have had to close due to the storms. Check out our ski resort report for status updates.

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