Expect Weekend Wind, Rain And Sierra Nevada Snow
A Pacific frontal system will start a new round of wet weather over Northern California on Saturday.
As this front moves through, strong south winds will be generated. The strongest winds are expected Saturday afternoon just ahead of the front as it moves through.
Sustained wind speeds over the Central valley and the surrounding foothills will reach twenty-five to thirty mph, with gusts up to fifty mph.
The highest wind speeds will be over the higher mountain elevations. The highest elevations of the Sierra could see wind gusts of fifty-five to seventy mph.
Winds of this speed could cause difficulties while driving especially for high profile vehicles. Strong winds could also cause tree damage. Blowing debris, down trees and tree limbs will create more hazards.
The strong winds should decrease quickly Saturday night as the main cold front passes to the east.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the Mother Lode and the Northern San Joaquin Valley for Saturday from 7 AM to 7 PM.
Additionally, a Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the Sierra Nevada above 4,000 feet, from Saturday morning through Sunday morning.
Total snow accumulations of ten to forty inches are likely above the 4,000 foot elevation.
Weekend travelers through the mountains are encouraged to start their travel today, if possible. Travel will be very difficult to impossible.
Conditions are expected to gradually improve on Sunday afternoon as snowfall diminishes.
Another storm is expected to arrive Sunday night and continue through Monday night.
A Winter Storm Watch means there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
A Wind Advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected. Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.