Weather System Could Bring Winds as High as 120mph and Several Feet of Snow to Sierra

In Weather

As we get more and more information about the incoming weather system it definitely looks like a nasty one. Here’s the latest from the National Weather Service. They’re expecting several feet of snow at the higher elevations and winds at ridge line in up to 120mph. Definitely don’t want to be in a motorhome or a trailer coming over Tioga Pass if this is the case.

I want to note that this is the weather warning for Mammoth Lakes since it deals mainly with the conditions at the higher elevations. The Yosemite Valley Warning deals mainly with flash floods, a huge danger at lower elevations and along rivers and streams. If you’re coming up Highway 395 you’ll also want to take note of this advisory. Definitely don’t try to do any back country hiking until after this storm has passed.

“A SIGNIFICANT STORM SYSTEM WILL IMPACT MUCH OF THE WESTERN U.S.
TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. UP TO 6 INCHES OF RAIN IS EXPECTED FOR
THE SIERRA…INCLUDING 2 TO 3 INCHES IN THE TAHOE BASIN. SEVERAL
FEET OF SNOW ARE LIKELY AT THE HIGHEST ELEVATIONS AND BACKCOUNTRY
OF THE SIERRA…MAINLY ABOVE 9000 FEET. IN THE LOWER ELEVATIONS OF
WESTERN NEVADA AND NORTHEAST CALIFORNIA…UP TO AN INCH OF RAIN IS
POSSIBLE FROM THIS STORM.

SNOW LEVELS WILL START AROUND 7500 FEET THIS EVENING. HOWEVER
WARM AND MOIST PACIFIC AIR WILL PUSH SNOW LEVELS TO 9000 FEET OR
HIGHER BY TUESDAY AFTERNOON. THESE HIGH SNOW LEVELS WILL REDUCE
IMPACTS FROM SNOW ACCUMULATIONS. SNOW LEVELS WILL LOWER SOMEWHAT
EARLY WEDNESDAY AS PRECIPITATION BEGINS TO TAPER. LIGHT
ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW COULD POSE A BRIEF PERIOD OF TRAVEL
INCONVENIENCE ON AREA PASSES MAINLY ABOVE 7500 FEET AT THE
BEGINNING OF THE EVENT EARLY TUESDAY AND AGAIN WEDNESDAY MORNING.

THE RECENT DRY CONDITIONS AND LITTLE TO NO SNOWPACK WILL PRECLUDE
FLOODING OF MAIN STEM RIVERS. HOWEVER HEAVY RAINFALL WILL PRODUCE
RISES ON SMALLER CREEKS AND STREAMS AND MAY CAUSE MINOR FLOODING
IN URBAN SETTINGS AND NEAR STEEP TERRAIN. SLICK ROADWAYS AND
PONDING OF WATER FROM MODERATE TO HEAVY PERIODS OF RAIN WILL
RESULT IN HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND
TUESDAY NIGHT.

IN ADDITION TO HEAVY PRECIPITATION…THIS STORM WILL BRING STRONG
WINDS IN EXCESS OF 120 MPH TO SIERRA RIDGES. GUSTY SOUTH WINDS TO
45-50 MPH WILL ALSO AFFECT MANY LOWER ELEVATIONS AND POSE A THREAT
TO HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.” (NOAA)

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