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Significant Storm Begins Today

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The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the central San Joaquin Valley from 9 AM this morning until 4 AM Thursday. A Wind Advisory will also be in effect for the northern San Joaquin Valley from 10 AM this morning until 6 AM Thursday.

South to southeast winds of fifteen to thirty-five are expected with gusts ranging from forty-five to fifty-five mph.

Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

Blowing dust will reduce visibilities at times. Use extra caution when driving. Travel will be difficult, particularly for high profile vehicles, such as campers and tractor trailers. Secure outdoor objects.

Additionally, a Flood Watch has been issued for the Mother Lode from this afternoon through late Thursday night.

Moderate to heavy rain will move through the region later today and tonight.

The prolonged heavy rain and excessive rainfall could lead to urban and small stream flooding.

Such excessive runoff could result in 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.

You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Finally, a Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada from 10 AM this morning through 4 AM Saturday. A Winter Storm Warning will also be in effect for Yosemite National Park above 5,000 feet, from 10 PM this evening until 4 PM Friday.

Heavy snow is forecast above the 5,000 foot elevation.

Snow rates of one to two inches per hour are forecast, the heaviest will be from tonight into Thursday morning.

The snow levels will start out around 6,000 to 7,000 feet today, lowering to 4,000 to 5,000 feet on Thursday, and as low as 3,500 feet by Friday morning.

The total snow accumulations above the 5,000 foot elevation, will range from one to four feet. The higher you go, the more the snow. The heaviest snowfall accumulations will likely be above 6,000 feet.

Winds may gust as high as fifty-five to sixty-five mph, especially on exposed ridgetops and along the crest. Such gusty winds could cause tree damage and bring down tree branches and telephone poles. Prepare for possible power outages.

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

If you must travel, remember to carry tire chains, plenty of food, a good deal of water, warm clothing, and a flashlight in your vehicle in case of an emergency.