As storms approach, time to gear up for winter driving
"The weather outside is frightful ..."
For those valley dwellers eager to hum along to the winter classic, it is a 50 percent chance the lyrics of choice this winter could be "Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry."
The next storm front is expected to hit the valley this evening with an 80 percent chance of showers on the valley floor and snow in the higher elevations, the National Weather Service in Sacramento is predicting.
More rain might be seen Thursday, but the skies will quickly brighten through the weekend with temperatures hitting the mid-70s.
Still, the California Highway Patrol is urging caution on those days when the roads are wet.
"Winter driving, whether it be through the foggy valley, along wet roads and highways or through the snow-capped mountains of California, can be a pleasant danger — or it can be frustrating, tiring and sometimes even hazardous," a CHP statement reads.
Driving faster than the conditions allow is the primary reason for crashes during the winter.
The CHP recommends winterizing your car now — and that includes have a survival kit.
"When traveling, it's recommended you carry the following items: Tire chain and tighteners; flashlight and batteries; flares; a small shovel; windshield scraper; waterproof clothing that's warm; blankets; snacks; and drinking water," the CHP reports.
"A cellular phone with a backup power source might be the single most important safety item available."
The problem right now is the National Weather Service just isn't sure what kind of winter the north valley is going to experience.
A weak El Nino system is in place, and if it strengthens, will likely mean a wet winter for the North State.
However, there is no guarantee what will happen next.
No matter what the weather outside is, however, the CHP strongly suggests motorists check for weather conditions for their destination and the route they are taking.
Also, the CHP notes that as the holidays near, more traffic will be on the roads and highways, and that too needs to be taken into consideration.
For road conditions, call the hotline at 1-800-427-ROAD (7623).