Snowmageddon 2021: What to Know About the Potentially Historic Storm in Northern California

Hype is building as the biggest storm seen in years is entering Northern California. Over 8 feet of snow is forecast in the mountains between Tuesday and Friday, along with the rare prediction of snow falling all the way to the valley floor.

As residents prepare for what has the potential be the largest storm in the past 50 years, here’s everything we know heading into what should be a wild week:

Plenty of Mountain Snow

The major impact of this storm is the multiple feet of snow it will bring to the mountains of NorCal. From Mount Shasta all the way down to the Eastern Sierra, at least 4 feet of snow of snow will fall in each high-elevation region.

The snow accumulation should be enormous. Lassen and areas of the Eastern Sierra are forecast to receive up to 100 inches through Friday. Tahoe is expected to receive anywhere between 48 and 80 inches. Mt. Shasta is expecting 48 inches in town, with plenty more falling on the mountain above.

High-elevation travel is highly discouraged with many of the main roadways expecting significant delays and closures. Roadways like Highway 89 in Mt. Shasta, Interstate 80 and Highway 50 in Tahoe, and Highway 395 in the Eastern Sierra will most likely close due to snow accumulation this week.

If you must travel during this time, please be prepared with chains, water and food, and expect a lot of delays during whiteout conditions (you should probably just stay home).

Potentially Historic Snow in Redding

As of Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service has upgraded the Tuesday night/Wednesday morning storm that looks like it may bring a lot of snow to Redding. Initial forecasts called for a maximum of 13 inches, but now forecasts show it could reach as much as 18 inches. The last time the city received that much snow was in 1968.

The Shasta County Sheriff has warned residents of the danger of the incoming storm, including prolonged power outages and dangerous driving conditions. Residents are recommended to stock up on 3-days worth of food, prepare flashlights and batteries, and have a plan for anyone who may need assistance, including elderly.

A Windy Affair

The intense storm is also forecast to bring with it howling winds reaching 60 mph on Tuesday night. The winds will be most prevalent in the Sacramento Valley, reaching 50 mph in Sacramento.

The winds will make travel difficult and bring the possibility of downed trees and power lines. This will more than likely create power outages in all areas of NorCal.

Flash Flood Watch

Serious concerns are being raised due to heavy rain in the areas of NorCal’s burn scars, in particular at the sights of the SCU Complex Fire and LNU Complex Fire. The combination of heavy rain with strong wind could bring flash floods to those areas, including damaging debris flow.

Residents of these areas are strongly encouraged to be prepare to evacuate in case of a flash flood.

We’ll be here to report on the storm throughout. Good luck, NorCal. Happy snorkeling.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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