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Update: Winter Storm Warning Today

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The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada, through 1 AM Thursday. Additionally, a Winter Weather Advisory for Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada of Mariposa County, will go into effect from 10 this morning until 4 AM Thursday.

Heavy snow is forecast. Snow rates of one to two inches per hour are likely this afternoon.

The snow levels will range between 2,500 to 3,500 feet today. Snow levels will then lower to 2,000 feet during the overnight hours tonight into Thursday morning.

Total snow accumulations above the 2,000 foot elevation, will range from just a dusting to as much as two feet. The higher you go, the more the snow.

The heaviest amounts of accumulation are expected above 4,000 feet.

Winds will gust as high as sixty to sixty-five mph. Very strong winds could cause extensive tree damage in some areas, such as near the Sierra Nevada crest.

Cold wind chills, as low as twenty below zero, are possible in the highest elevations. That could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as thirty minutes.

Travel could be very difficult to impossible with travel delays from chain controls, reduced visibility with whiteout conditions at times, slick and snow covered roads and possible road closures.

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.

Finally, a Freeze Watch has been issued for the central San Joaquin Valley from late Thursday night through Saturday morning.

Sub-freezing temperatures, as low as twenty-eight degrees, are possible.

Frost and freeze conditions could kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.

Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold.

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