Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

Residents in Gasquet woke Monday morning to find trees and rooftops blanketed in snow but roadways were mostly clear.

National Weather Service forecasts called for snow to get down as low as 500 feet last week, but even west of Gasquet, which is about 350 feet, snow accumulated overnight.

Matthew Kidwell, a meteorologist at the NWS office in Eureka, said they do not yet have hard data for the Collier Tunnel area, but estimated it received up to a few inches overnight. Caltrans trucks were on location at the tunnel as the snow started and gravel trucks were dusting the highway below the tunnel just before dark Sunday.

“We had a spotter say there was a 10 to 15-minute burst of snow just north of Crescent City about 11 p.m.,” he said. “Otherwise, we may have just had some small hail in the afternoon (Sunday).”

Kidwell said most of the snow and rain missed Crescent City and hit areas south to Eureka.

At 7:18 p.m., Sunday, Arcata Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a traffic crash involving up to 19 vehicles on U.S. 101 at Samoa Boulevard due to heavy hail, according to Caltrans.

Kidwell said Del Norte County can expect cooler temperatures to remain all week, possibly warming by about Feb. 26. Along with the extended cold, residents can expect a few episodes of light precipitation, possibly hail on the coast and a dusting of snow in higher elevations, he said.

Kidwell noted a hard freeze warning was in place for Monday night and expected lows Tuesday morning to be in the 20s for some areas of the county. The warning called for Tuesday morning temperatures in Crescent City to reach 32 degrees.

Offshore, waves may prove challenging for fishing vessels, he said.

“We had some big waves out there,” he said. “At Buoy 27, it peaked at 20 feet. That’s just eight miles northwest of Crescent City.”

Motorists are cautioned to slow down during inclement weather conditions and carry emergency supplies when traveling over mountain passes.

The Caltrans District 1 website also features real-time traffic cameras placed in many prominent areas of Northern California. Go to http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1tmc/ class="Apple-converted-space">

Reach Tony Reed at treed@triplicate.com

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