The big winter storm that Northern California residents have been waiting for is finally set to hit the area and National Weather Service officials now think it will be bigger than initially expected. Forecasters have updated the snow accumulation forecast for up to 60 inches of snowfall from Saturday through Monday, with the possibility of 70+ mph winds.
The initial forecast called for up to 48 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada, but with increased storm activity entering into NorCal on Friday morning, the scale has moved up, bringing up to four feet of snow for Tahoe, three feet of snow for Lassen and five feet of snow for the lower Sierra at Carson Pass.
Meanwhile, heavy winds have been added to the forecast, forcing the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Watch and discouraging mountain travel through Monday.
The rain will fall aplenty in the lower elevations of NorCal, with up to four inches of rain possible through Monday and the risk of isolated thunderstorms on Sunday.
On the North Coast, heavy rain and snow is expected throughout the weekend in Trinity, interior Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, northeast Mendocino County, and northern Lake County.
Chain controls and possible road closures are expected throughout the weekend, with mountain travel highly discouraged during the storm. Here are the snow expectations over high-elevation passes through Monday:
Buckle up, NorCal. This storm’s gonna be a doozy!
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine