MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES – Earlier this week we talked about the return of Winter weather to our communities but, at the time, the details were still a little bit “foggy.” Fast forward to this weekend and now we have a really good picture of what to expect over the next few days due to an “atmospheric river” weather pattern that is predicted to impact our area in a big way. According to the experts in weather predictive services – here is what we can look forward to beginning Sunday night and extending into next week.
The US National Weather Service Hanford has posted on their Facebook page that “a strong storm system will bring periods of moderate to heavy precipitation early next week.” Precipitation will begin Sunday night with the heaviest ran and snow expected Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon. Snow levels will be around 5000 to 6000 feet for most of the event but will fall to around 3000 feet as the precipitation winds down Tuesday night.
Winter Storm Warning
The strong storm system has also generated a “Winter Storm Warning that will go into effect Monday morning and last through Tuesday evening. Intense snowfall and strong winds will make travel difficult in the Sierra Nevada Monday and Tuesday.”
PG&E meteorologists, along with experts from the National Weather Service, forecast that the weather system is expected to begin across the north by Saturday afternoon and then spread east and south across our service area, delivering periods of gusty winds, widespread rain, heavy mountain snow and isolated thunderstorms. Most impacts of this stormy weather are likely to occur Sunday through Tuesday.
“This strong storm has the potential to cause power outages due to significant rain, gusty winds and heavy snow in the mountains. We’re urging our customers to have a plan to keep themselves and their families safe. Our meteorology team is closely tracking the forecast and working with our crews in the field to ensure we’re ready to restore power safely and as quickly as possible,” said PG&E Director of Meteorology and Fire Science Scott Strenfel.
Storm Safety Tips
- Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it–and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 9-1-1 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- Secure outdoor furniture: Deck furniture, lightweight yard structures and decorative lawn items should be secured as they can be blown by high winds and damage overhead power lines and property.
- Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should ensure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on power lines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
- Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. And keep extra batteries on hand. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup. Having a portable charging device helps to keep your cell phone running.
- Have fresh drinking water, ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling. Blue Ice from your picnic cooler also works well in the freezer.
- Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
- Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 811 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked. Other tips can be found at www.pge.com/beprepared.
SNO will be monitoring this upcoming storm and posting any urgent notifications related to our community.