MOUNTAIN AREA — The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning to take effect for the Sierra Nevada from Yosemite to Kings Canyon, including Yosemite Valley, starting at 4 a.m. PST on Thursday, Dec. 24 and lasting through 4 a.m. PST on Friday, Dec. 25.
Hanford says snow accumulations could reach 8 to 16 inches in some areas, with the snow spreading south into Yosemite National Park by daybreak Thursday, and increasing in intensity through the afternoon and into evening, until gradually tapering off by early Friday morning.
The weather is expected to impact travelers in and out of Yosemite National Park as movement could be difficult due to snow and ice covered roads.
The Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast, says Hanford, that will make travel difficult. If travel is necessary in emergency it’s recommended to keep an extra flashlight, food and water in the vehicle in case of emergency.
Oakhurst will see cloudy skies with a 60% chance of precipitation after 4 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 25, and less than a tenth of an inch of rain possible early. Low overnight around 27, winds calm. By 10 a.m. on Thursday, rain showers are predicted leading to snow showers, with rain and snow heavy at times. The high will land near 40 degrees and the wind will pick up in the afternoon. The chance of precipitation is 90% with little or no snow accumulation expected.
Thursday night rain and snow showers will continue, turning to all-snow after about 10 p.m., and the nighttime low dropping town to 26 degrees. New snow accumulation of less than one inch is possible.
On Friday, Dec. 25, there’s a 30 percent chance of snow showers in Oakhurst, mostly before 10 a.m. The sun will peek out to say Merry Christmas and the temp will be near 39 degrees with calm winds.