DONNER SUMMIT (AP/CBS13) — Winter storm warnings and chain controls are in effect along California’s mountainous eastern spine Wednesday as a new cold front hits the region.

The system is the latest in a series of spring storms that has followed a dry winter that left California deep in drought.

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Widespread rain, heavy mountain snow and periods of gusty winds started late Wednesday evening and are expected to last into Friday, possibly spreading showers down into Southern California, the National Weather Service said.

Caltrans says all commercial vehicles are being turned on both directions of Interstate 80 at Applegate and the Nevada State Line due to traction issues over the summit.

“This system continues to look like a very good late-season precipitation event for the region,” the Sacramento weather office wrote.

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Higher elevations were expected to receive at least one foot to two feet (30-60 centimeters) of snow. Rainfall predictions ranged up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters), with possibly higher amounts if thunderstorms develop.

Travelers were likely to face whiteout conditions, road closures and chain controls, forecasters said.

“Any Sierra driving will be treacherous after today. It would be a good idea to delay non-essential travel until conditions improve,” the Reno, Nevada, weather office wrote. “If this isn’t possible, be sure to carry chains and winter survival supplies in your vehicle.”

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