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Update: Blizzard Warning Through Sunday Morning

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The Blizzard Warning, currently in effect for the Mother Lode, the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada and the upper elevations of Yosemite National Park, will continue through 10 AM Sunday.

Additionally, the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the Mother Lode and the northern San Joaquin Valley, from 10 AM this morning (Friday) until 10 AM Saturday.

Finally, a Winter Storm Warning has been issued for Mariposa County above 2,500 feet, from 4 AM Saturday until 10 AM Sunday.

The snow levels are around 4,000 to 5,000 feet today, which will lower to around 2,000 feet by Saturday.

Blizzard conditions are expected at times today through Saturday, when the snowfall is likely to be the heaviest. The intense snow rates will range from two to four inches per hour, at times.

There may be minor snow accumulations at the 2,000 foot elevation. Half-a-foot to one foot of snow is likely above 2,500 feet. One to four feet of snow is forecast above 3,000 feet. Four to twelve feet of snow is expected above 5,000 feet. The higher you go, the more the snow.

South winds of twenty to thirty mph are forecast. Winds could gust as high as forty-five to seventy-five mph, especially on exposed ridgetops of the Sierra Nevada and along the crest. The strongest winds will be from this afternoon through early Saturday. Widespread blowing snow will create blizzard conditions, with white-out conditions and near zero visibility. Very strong winds, combined with a heavy snow load could cause extensive tree damage and extended power outages. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects, so be sure to secure them. Wind chills as low as fifteen to twenty below zero can be expected.

Expect extremely dangerous to impossible travel conditions into Saturday morning, with extended road closures likely. Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Delay travel plans, if at all possible. If you plan to travel, consider alternate strategies. Travel should be restricted to emergencies only. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. The kit should include tire chains, plenty of food, a good deal of water, warm clothing, and a flashlight in case of an emergency. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.