A mighty winter storm will hit the Sierra Nevada mountains starting midweek, expected to drop as much as 3 feet of snow in as many days, while other parts of Northern California including Sacramento will see rain and near-freezing overnight lows.
The system is set to arrive Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, which has a winter storm watch in place from 4 p.m. Wednesday through 10 a.m. Friday for the entire Sierra range, parts of Shasta County and other far northern reaches of the state.
Forecasters predict 1 to 3 feet of snow falling in the Sierra mountains, while mountains in Shasta County could see between 10 and 30 inches. Gusts as high as 65 mph could accompany the snow, forecasts show.
Snow is expected to fall as low as 2,000 feet in Shasta County and the southern Cascades, while dropping down to 2,500 feet in the Sierra mountains. A few inches of snow could fall at upper foothills elevations, according to the weather service.
Mountain travel will be “dangerous or impossible,” the weather service said in a Monday bulletin. Forecasters also issued an avalanche warning for the Sierra between Yuba Pass (Highway 49) south to Ebbetts Pass (Highway 4) from Thursday morning to Friday.
The Sacramento Valley will see rain start to fall Wednesday night or Thursday, with the latest forecasts showing a 100% chance Thursday in the capital city, along with gusts that could kick up to 30 mph.
Sacramento will see daytime highs in the low 50s both days, with overnight temperatures dipping to the low-to-mid 30s Thursday and Friday nights.
Chances of rain in Sacramento will continue Friday night, and rain is likely Saturday and possible on Sunday, according to the weather service. Showers should start to fade by Sunday evening.
This week’s will be the second big winter storm of November. The weather service reported close to 3 feet of snow falling in some parts of the central Sierra mountains Nov. 6 to Nov. 9.