ECHO SUMMIT (CBS13) – With another significant storm on the way to Northern California, Caltrans crews are doing everything they can to prepare.

One part of their arsenal may come as a surprise to some people: a cannon.

As shown in a recent video posted by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, Caltrans crews will often fire up this bright yellow cannon to shoot down heavy snow that has accumulated in the mountains.

The man-made avalanche allows crews to have predictable conditions when closing and clearing roads – and minimizes the chances of a natural avalanche coming down while Highway 50 is open.

Multiple storms are expected to hit the region starting Friday and lasting until Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Hazardous travel is expected in the Sierra.

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