Another Valley freeze due

Snow began falling Friday night in the Sierra foothills, and some Sacramento County residents may wake up today to a rain-snow mix, according to the National Weather Service.

On the Valley floor, a chance of snowflakes falling is predicted before 10 a.m. The last time it snowed in Sacramento was Dec. 7, 2009, according to the weather service.

Record-breaking cold temperatures are possible again over the weekend in the Sacramento region with below-freezing temperatures expected into next week. The low tonight and Sunday night in Sacramento should be around 26 degrees, the weather service predicts.

Temperatures on Friday morning about 6 a.m. were frigid: 26 at Executive Airport in Sacramento, 26 in Orangevale, 33 in Folsom, 28 in Elk Grove and 29 in Antelope.

For motorists planning to head over snowy mountain passes this morning, the state Department of Transportation is advising caution, said Rochelle Jenkins, department spokeswoman.

“Always carry chains or utilize a 4x4 or all-wheel-drive vehicle,” Jenkins said in a news release. “Make sure to carry provisions for all passengers and allow extra travel time. During chain control, maximum speeds are severely reduced.”

Chain-control maximum speeds are 30 mph on Interstate 80 and 25 mph on Highway 50.

Caltrans is also alerting the public that the new “tow plow” will go into service on I-80 near Truckee during the storm system, which is expected to dump 7 to 12 inches of snow in that area by this afternoon. Those traveling over Donner Summit need to give the 28-foot-wide plow plenty of clearance, officials say.

When activated, the tow plow will move to the right side of the pulling plow, she said, allowing 28 feet of roadway to be cleared at once. A normal plow has a snow removal width of 10 to 12 feet.

Motorists are advised to remain 100 feet behind the equipment when lights are flashing, Jenkins said.

Caltrans will provide updates on Twitter @D3PIO and on Facebook at Caltrans District 3. For more information about chain installation, roadway conditions and live traffic cameras, go to www.dot.ca.gov/dist3/departments/mtce/chaincontrlmp.htm.