Winter wallop: Rain, wind and blizzard conditions hit Nevada County |

Winter wallop: Rain, wind and blizzard conditions hit Nevada County

The first wave of a wet weather pattern passed through western Nevada County Tuesday bringing with it about an inch and a half of rain to the Grass Valley region and about a foot of snow over Donner Pass.

Close on its heels is a second and much stronger winter storm that is expected to impact northern California this afternoon through Thursday night, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a winter storm watch Wednesday night through Thursday night.

Mountain travel is strongly discouraged Wednesday evening into Thursday morning due to the extreme weather impacts expected.

Wind gusts may reach 45 to 50 mph to accompany Wednesday night’s storm in the Grass Valley region, meaning folks should prepare for downed trees or limbs and the potential for power outages.

“We’re expecting white-out conditions,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Brendon Rubin-Oster said Tuesday afternoon. “The gusty winds will be blowing the snow around quite a bit. We definitely anticipate major travel impacts and are advising people not to travel.”

Snow levels will remain at 6,000 feet at the beginning of the storm Wednesday afternoon, and will drop to 5,000 feet as the storm dissipates Thursday.

Western Nevada County is expected to see between and 5 and 7 inches of precipitation through Friday, while mountain passes will see between 4 and 6 feet of snow.

“Snowfall is expected at 2 inches per hour at times,” Rubin-Oster said. “It’s hard for the plows to get rid of all that snow quickly.”

With saturated hillsides and snow laden ridges, the weather service is also warning folks to be aware of mud and rock slides in the lower elevations and avalanches in the upper elevations.

Wednesday night, when rainfall will be the strongest, motorists should be aware of pooling water and high running creeks and water ways.

Certain sections of the Sacramento River will enter a flood monitor stage as a result of the heavy runoff.


In Grass Valley, extreme weather forecasts have prompted the Salvation Army to open up its Extreme Weather Shelter for homeless families at 10725 Alta Street.

The facility is limited to 25 people maximum and is for homeless families only.

The shelter was open Tuesday evening until 7 this morning and will be open again tonight starting at 4:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. Thursday morning.

Sierra Roots will not be opened on these dates for single adults. However, Sierra Roots is ready to assist homeless citizens through normal access points or by calling 530-751-3263.

Further assistance for homeless citizens can also be reached by dialing 2-1-1.

The Salvation Army can be reached at 530-274-3500.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email,, or call 530-477-4230.

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