Wet weather returns on Friday with back-to-back storms in the forecast through next week
Another day of calm weather before the wet weather returns Friday night and continues into early next week. By next week, most of Northern California will accumulate several inches of water with heavy rain and possible snow in the Sierra.
This increased rainfall will cause travel delays, smooth roads and flooding concerns for weekend travelers and commuters next week.
A series of high pressure kept our weather calm Wednesday, Thursday and most of Friday, before the ridge began to move east.
Behind the ridge, the storm track extends westward, with the first storm arriving Friday night into early Sunday and the second storm arriving Sunday night into Tuesday.
These coming storms will be warmer – Which means snow levels will be generally high across the Sierra, and most of the rain will end up across the foothills.
Snow levels will fluctuate between each storm, but the effects will be similar.
a Winter storm watch It is in effect Friday night through Monday night for areas above 6,000 feet, including Donner Summit, Echo Summit and HWY 88 over Carson Pass.
The Lake Tahoe Basin, including Truckee and South Lake Tahoe, is located under… Winter weather warning Starting Friday night.
Our first storm moves through the day Friday with the first wave of rain moving through the western parts of the valley late Friday morning. Rain becomes heavy across the northern portions of the Sacramento Valley and foothills at first before filling up.
Snow will begin to fall across the Sierra during the afternoon, but snow levels will be high. Generally above 6,000 to 6,500 feet as this storm moves through.
For the Valley, the heaviest rain levels will be Friday afternoon and night and across the mountains Saturday morning.
Rain totals from this first storm will be generous at higher elevations with 1 to 3 inches likely. Across the valley, expect 0.50 inch to 1 inch.
As snow levels rise, snow accumulation will be better over our mountain passes and higher peaks. That’s still enough to cause chain misalignment and lag if traveling across lanes.
By Saturday, scattered rain and snow showers will become more active. We will have some dry time through the evening, but active weather will continue.
Saturday will also be breezy, with winds of 15-20 mph across the lower elevations and gusts of 25-35 mph across parts of the mountains with gusts up to 50 mph. This is a herald of our next storm when it arrives on Sunday.
These storms will be back-to-back, meaning that while some may see a lull in activity, others may not.
Our next storm will have moved in by the time we wake up Sunday morning. This storm will be stronger and will provide more rain and snow chances.
Repeating the pattern of the first storm, this storm begins along the western side of the valley and into the mountains. By afternoon, it fills the valley and lower Sierra. There may be some breaks in the rain, but Sunday is expected to be mostly wet during the day.
This will be another warmer-type storm, helping boost snow levels from 6,500 to 7,500 feet by Sunday night, but returning to 6,000 to 7,000 feet on Monday. The snow will be heavy on the trails and we may see areas of low visibility with gusts up to 30 mph. Make sure you are prepared for winter travel and delays if you have to cross the Sierra.
The rain will become the heaviest Sunday evening into Monday morning. Expect slick roads, longer commute distances, and potential street flooding in areas with poor sanitation.
Monday will be a First alert working day With widespread rainfall just in time for the morning commute. Some thunderstorms may be possible across the valley with not enough stability around them.
Monday’s activity will increase the potential for road flooding, flooding of low-lying areas, increased sinkhole levels and flows, and mud and rock slides.
Rain and snow will continue into Monday and Tuesday evening as the back end of the storm moves in.
The rain begins to taper off as we head into Tuesday.
Adding rain over this active stretch, many people in the valley will end up with at least an inch of moisture if not up to 3 inches by Tuesday.
All of these storm systems will be focused across the foothills, especially areas north of I-80. The distance from Nevada to Plumas counties could be about 3 to 6 inches, while further south, the distance from El Dorado to Tuolumne counties could be about 2 to 5 inches.
Moisture is actually beneficial but it can cause problems because it builds up within a few days. Flood risk may increase.
Snow falling in the Sierra
As these storms move through, be prepared for changing conditions across the Sierra. Chain controls, delays, lockouts, and snow-covered roads may become an issue.
Snow totals will rise at the end of the weekend into Monday. For areas above 7,000 feet, we could end up with 1-3 feet of snow by Tuesday.
Towards passes is where we expect to see the best accumulation. Around Donner Peak and Echo Peak, 10 to 20 inches can be possible.
The lower parts of the Sierra, such as Blue Canyon, Truckee and South Lake Tahoe, can expect to see up to 3 inches, but most of it will fall as wet snow. Below 6,000 feet, heavy rain is expected.
A little farther south toward Kirkwood, 15 to 30 inches can be caught, especially across the high peaks in the ski area.
By next Tuesday, the weather begins to dry out. During the middle of the week, a ridge of high pressure begins to rebuild giving us a respite from the wet weather.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center holds most precipitation chances to the north. With a slightly drier trend from the Central Valley to Southern California.
We will be monitoring this trend as we approach to see if there are any storms creeping into our area. Be sure to stay with the CBS Sacramento First Alert Weather team for any new updates.
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