A special weather statement has been issued by the National Weather Service for Central California including the Yosemite Area.
A storm system originating in the Gulf of Alaska will drift southward during the next couple of days and be situated off the california coast this weekend. The track of the storm is expected to remain along the coast on Saturday then move inland on Sunday.
The bulk of the precipitation is expected to occur on Sunday and has the potential to bring some much needed rain and mountain snow to Central California by the end of this weekend.
Rainfall totals of up to half an inch are possible in the San Joaquin Valley by Sunday with one to two inches in the foothills. In the mountains expect snow accumulations of up to one foot above 6000 feet by Sunday night. There is a concern that very heavy snow could fall in the higher elevations of the Tehachapi Mountains and in locations such as Breckenridge, Mount Pinos and the Piutes by Sunday night.
As the storm approaches gusty southerly winds are possible in Merced County and along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley Saturday. Brisk winds may also occur at the south end of the San Joaquin Valley Saturday night into Sunday.
A colder, unstable airmass associated with this storm may trigger isolated thunderstorms on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley Sunday afternoon. In the mountains snow levels will initially be between 6500 feet and 7500 feet then lower to around 4500 feet by Sunday night behind the front. In the Kern County desert, rainfall totals from the storm will generally be less than a quarter of an inch.
Persons with travel plans this weekend should be prepared for winter driving conditions in the mountains above 6000 feet and rain slicked highways in the lower elevations with possible travel delays.
Right now we’re seeing a little bit of snow at the higher elevations along the Sierra Crest and it’s super cold outside. This is the type of storm we normally get in December which makes me think more and more we’re about 4 months behind on weather.