Travelers warned to watch passes |

Travelers warned to watch passes

Travelers planning to cross the Sierra’s mountain passes this afternoon and tonight could run into snow and gusting winds of up to 50 mph.

The National Weather Service issued a travel advisory for the Sierra yesterday due to a new storm system moving in from the Pacific Ocean.

Snow levels will be at 5,000 to 6,500 feet, according to Steve Martinez of the weather service. Martinez said the storm system’s southern end will follow the Interstate 80 corridor.

“And then we’ll a have a nice, dry weekend,” Martinez said. “It’s looking dry from Monday afternoon through next weekend. Everyone will feel warmer.”

The relatively warm storm will keep today and Saturday’s temperatures in the 40s, Martinez said. Lows Sunday through Tuesday will be near 40, with highs in the mid-50s, “10 degrees above normal,” Martinez said.

The weather alert issued by the National Weather Service said the main front of today’s storm will enter California in the afternoon. Higher elevation snowfall into tonight could leave up to eight new inches for skiers.

“The North Coast will be hit hardest,” Martinez said, but California is not expected to get the cold, harsh storm conditions that hit Portland and Seattle earlier this week.

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