California storm to bring heavy snow, rain, ‘treacherous’ travel conditions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s mountainous eastern spine Wednesday as a new cold front approached.

California is deep in drought.

Widespread rain, heavy mountain snow and periods of gusty winds were forecast to start Wednesday afternoon and last into Friday, possibly spreading showers down into Southern California, the National Weather Service said.

“This Sacramento weather office wrote.

Fresh snow falls in Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., On Friday, April 15, 2022. Winter storm warnings were in effect on California’s mountainous eastern spine Wednesday .

Higher elevations were expected at least 1 foot to 2 feet of snow. Rainfall predictions ranged up to 3 inches, with possibly higher amounts if thunderstorms develop.

The Oregon border down through the southern Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada.

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.”

Snow and wind blew through the Reno area on Monday, April 11, 2022. Here, motorists travel on North McCarran Boulevard during the heaviest of snow, which is about 2 pm

Snow and wind blew through the Reno area on Monday, April 11, 2022. Here, motorists travel on North McCarran Boulevard during the heaviest of snow, which is about 2 pm

Wind gusts of 50 mph, and up to 80 mph across Sierra ridges, NWS reports, with long delays and possible highway closures over mountain passes likely.

“The hazardous conditions will affect the morning and evening commutes Thursday into Friday,” according to the winter storm warning. “Strong winds and heavy snow accumulations could damage tree limbs and produce power outages.

“Avoid travel if possible, (as) you could get stuck in your vehicle for many hours with similar conditions to mid-winter storms. If you stay home, have a backup plan in case of power outages. ”

The Sierra Avalanche Center is also issuing a backcountry avalanche watch between Yuba Pass (Highway 49) on the north and Ebbetts Pass (Highway 4) on the south, including the greater Lake Tahoe area from 4 pm Wednesday through 4 pm Friday.

“A winter storm brings feet into the snow. Heavy snow loading could cause large and destructive avalanches, ”according to an advisory. “Very dangerous avalanche conditions may occur. Avalanche terrain is not recommended during HIGH avalanche danger. ”

This week is bringing more light snow to higher elevations across the region, as well as a light storm that swept through the region last week.

“Now the Wednesday morning NWS advisory.” “The best thing is to make sure you have extra food and water, flashlights with spare batteries and / or candles in the event of a power outage.”

Snow levels are forecast to lower to 6,000 feet after midnight into early Thursday morning. New precipitation between a quarter and half of an inch of rain possible into Thursday evening.

Snow levels will drop from 5,700 to 4,700 feet after midnight into early Friday, according to NWS. New elevation accumulation less than half possible, with little elevations into Friday afternoon.

The Reno Gazette Journal and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on The Record: Weather: Whiteout conditions, road closures, snow, wind in California

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