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Winter Storm Warning Issued For Central Sierra

CENTRAL SIERRA — The National Weather Service office in Hanford has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the southern Sierra Nevada from Yosemite National Park to the Tulare-Kern County Line.

Over one foot of new snow accumulations can be expected above 7,000 feet. Snow levels will start high around 8,000 feet at the storm’s onset early Wednesday afternoon, but will drop to around 5,000 feet by Wednesday night, becoming heavy at times.

A Winter Storm Warning will remain in effect from 2 p.m. Wednesday to 2 p.m. Thursday above 5,000 ft. Expect heavy snow and gusty winds, with snow accumulations up to 18 inches above 7,000 ft, and 6 to 12 inches above 5,000 feet.

Heavy snow will make many roads impassable and may produce widespread power outages due to the weight of snow on tree limbs and power lines. Tree mortality will also be of concern to central Sierra residents and strong winds lead to the possibility of downed trees and power lines, and reduced visibility due to blowing snow, making travel dangerous.

Winds are forecast to be southwest at 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.

Travel is advised only in emergency situations when conditions turn dangerous, and motorists are advised that if they must travel, they should keep an extra flashlight, food and water, and a fully charged cell phone in their vehicle in the event of an emergency, plus a full tank of gas in case they become stranded.

Extended forecast:

Tonight
Increasing clouds, with a low around 36. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph.

Wednesday
Rain, mainly after 5pm. High near 50. East southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Wednesday Night
Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 37. East southeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Thursday
Rain before 11am, then a chance of showers after 11am. High near 44. South southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Thursday Night
Rain showers likely before 11pm, then rain and snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 33. Light south southeast wind becoming east southeast 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Friday
Snow. High near 42. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

Friday Night
Snow before 11pm, then snow showers after 11pm. Low around 32. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Saturday
A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 43. South southwest wind around 5 mph.

Saturday Night
A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 34. Light southeast wind becoming east 5 to 10 mph after midnight.

Sunday
Snow. High near 45. Breezy, with a southeast wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Sunday Night
Rain and snow. Low around 35. South southwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Monday
Snow. High near 44. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Monday Night
A 40 percent chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 33. West wind around 5 mph becoming northeast in the evening.

Tuesday
A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 45. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable in the morning.

(Source: National Weather Service)

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