The impact of winter storms will continue to be felt in the foothills for the next week.
The National Weather Service said Monday that today’s weather will consist of minor snow, thunderstorms, and showers. Looking to the weekend, moderate rain is predicted Saturday and Sunday. The impacts will include lightning, small hail, brief heavy rain, and gusty winds through this evening. Meteorologists are expecting that a warmer, moderate strength atmospheric river storm will impact the area late Thursday through Saturday with snow levels likely rising.
Travel conditions are expected to remain difficult not just in the foothills, but in higher mountain elevations.
Snow levels will hover around 1,500-2,500 feet with snow showers continuing through Wednesday morning. Snowfall is expected to accumulate at the rate of a half-inch to an inch through today.
“Things have escalated a bit since last week… We are going to have thunderstorms and showers continuing at times through Wednesday and this will mainly impact the foothills and the mountains with snow, so we will see additional travel impacts from time to time through Wednesday,” said Courtney Carpenter of the National Weather Service. “Then we get a break from Wednesday into Thursday; that will allow us to probably clear out and have some cold temperatures on Thursday then the big concern all the models have pointed toward a warmer rain on snow storm by late Thursday.”
Carpenter added that above 2,000 feet elevation, there is a 20 to 40% probability of less than four inches of snow with only a five to 25% chance of accumulation of just less than eight inches, ending early Wednesday. The Sierra is expected to see a moderate risk of snow, and travel conditions are expected to be difficult.
Additionally, today will present the potential of isolated thunderstorms.
“That first system will move in through the weekend,” said Carpenter. “Then there’s the potential for additional storms next week. So at least for this Thursday through the weekend time frame we are looking at higher snow levels in the 6,000-8,000 foot range. This will produce snowmelt and runoff in the 2,000-5,000 foot range.”
Carpenter said the area’s snowpack above 5,000 feet can absorb most of the predicted rain so “it’s not going to be rain and flooding everywhere.”
Thursday is expected to be the coldest morning of this week, with Carpenter saying, “(There will be) mostly pretty showery conditions but there will be some periods of heavier snowfall rates certainly, with nowhere to really put the snow. And in the foothills and mountains there will be additional travel impacts over the next several days.”
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