Update: Flood & High Wind Watches Issued For The Mother Lode
Woods Creek near downtown Sonora looks like a river (file photo)
Snow showers have tapered off in the Sierra Nevada this morning. An atmospheric river with high snow levels is expected to bring periods of moderate to heavy rainfall to most of Northern and Central California beginning early Wednesday morning. Precipitation will continue until late Thursday night in all areas.
A Flood Watch has been issued for the Mother Lode and the Northern San Joaquin Valley from Wednesday morning through Friday morning. A Flood Watch will also be in effect for the Yosemite Valley floor, the lower Sierra Nevada of Mariposa County and the Mariposa County foothills from early Wednesday morning through late Thursday night.
Excessive rainfall and runoff may result in the flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas. Low-water crossings may be flooded. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris. Extensive street flooding and flooding of creeks and rivers are possible. Area rivers, creeks, and streams are running high, particularly the Mokelumne River, and is expected to rise with more heavy rain.
Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.
The National Weather Service has also issued a Winter Storm Warning for the western slope of the Northern Sierra Nevada and Yosemite National Park (above the Yosemite Valley floor), from 7 AM Wednesday until 4 AM Friday.
Snow levels will start out between 3,500 to 5,500 feet early Wednesday morning, then rising to 6,000 to 8,000 feet through Wednesday evening, then decreasing again to 5,000-6,000 feet by early Thursday.
Total heavy, wet snow accumulations will range from half-a-foot to four feet above the 5,000 foot elevation. The higher you go, the more the snow.
Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. Slow down and use caution while traveling. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
Winds could gust as high as fifty-five to sixty-five mph. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. Strong winds could also cause tree damage.
Speaking of winds, a High Wind Watch has been issued for the Mother Lode and the Northern San Joaquin Valley, from Wednesday morning through Thursday afternoon.
South winds of twenty-five to thirty-five mph are forecast with gusts up to fifty-five mph
Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines. Saturated ground and weakened trees from recent storms will increase the potential for trees to be blown down. Widespread power outages are possible.
Travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.
Fasten loose objects or shelter objects in a safe location prior to the onset of winds.