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Calm before the blizzard: Northern California Sierra travel not advised Thursday-Sunday

Truckee braces for Northern California storm bringing blizzard conditions
Truckee braces for Northern California storm bringing blizzard conditions 02:09

TRUCKEE -- Drivers are advised to avoid mountain travel in the Sierra due to a Blizzard Warning from Thursday to Sunday. Ahead of the storm, locals and visitors flocked to downtown Truckee on one of the last quiet weather nights before the weekend. 

Caltrans put out a warning to motorists about travel in the Sierra Nevada due to the winter storm, which has snow estimates between 5-10 feet above 5,000 feet in elevation and 1-4 feet above 3,000 feet in elevation. Motorists have been warned about possible excessive delays, road closures, and chain controls, according to Caltrans. 

On I-80 toward Tahoe Wednesday afternoon, the sun was out and the roads were clear ahead of the storm. The highway is expected to be a different scene within 24 hours.

"We're trying to decide if we should expect to extend our trip, or if we're just going to go home early, which is not want I want to do. I want to ski," said Brian Kapcar, visiting Truckee from Ohio. 

When he heard how much snow was forecasted: "We're not leaving then!"

Locals in Truckee told CBS13 they are used to winter storms and stay prepared. Last year, Pam Hobday, a resident of Truckee, said that by this time, she had 18 feet of snow in her yard. This year has been a different story.

"There's so much during these storms of self-reflection. Mountain people really do that. So being able to be with people you care about, you're digging, you just feel this sense of nature and you have a different purpose," Hobday said.

Caltrans advises that drivers who plan to be on the roads Thursday into the weekend should pack extra supplies in the event of an emergency or if traffic is held for an extended period. That includes a full tank of gas or full charge, chains, and extra snacks, water, a blanket, and a flashlight.

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