MOUNTAIN AREA — A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the Sierra Nevada from Yosemite to Kings Canyon, according to the National Weather Service in Hanford, beginning Wednesday morning, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. and lasting through Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. on Feb. 18.
Snow levels are expected to start out near 7,000 feet on Wednesday and lower to around 5,000 feet Wednesday night, with an accumulation of 12 to 18 inches in the high country and two to six inches between 5,000 and 7,000 feet. The heaviest snow is anticipated to fall overnight Wednesday into Thursday, Hanford predicts.
Travelers should watch for snow covered roads and anticipate travel delays with possible road closures, blowing and drifting snow with the potential for white-out conditions, along with dangerous wind chill temps over the higher elevations. Winds are predicted to be 25 to 30 miles per hour over the higher elevations with gusts up to 65 miles per hour along the Sierra crest.
Please continue to monitor the latest forecasts.
In Oakhurst, the NWS says rain is anticipated between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, then rain and snow. Temperatures could rise to near 58 degrees in the morning and then fall to around 34 degrees for the remainder of the day. Winds are southeast 10 to 15 miles per hour with gusts as high as 20 miles per hour, and a chance of perciptation at 80 percent. Little to no snow accumulation is expected in town during the day.
By nightfall on Wednesday, area residents could be looking at rain mixed with snow, possibly heavy at times, and a low temperature of around 30 degrees. Chance of precipitation overnight is 100 percent. Any new snow accumulation overnight is expected to be less than one inch.
Snow is likely Thursday morning before 10 a.m., with a chance of snow showers after 10 a.m., resulting a new accumulation possibly between one and three inches, and a high of about 44 degrees.
Friday is looking mostly sunny, a trend that’s expected to continue through the weekend, with temps in the mid-sixties during the day by Monday.