A Tuesday morning drive through Meadow Vista, near Applegate, shows the fog is thick and the roads a bit choppy. Tuesday is expected to be the mild day before a storm sets in on Wednesday. Emily Zentner
A Tuesday morning drive through Meadow Vista, near Applegate, shows the fog is thick and the roads a bit choppy. Tuesday is expected to be the mild day before a storm sets in on Wednesday. Emily Zentner

Weather

Travelers, beware: Snow in the Sierra, rain in the Valley to hit hardest Wednesday

By Anthony Sorci

asorci@sacbee.com

November 14, 2017 09:09 AM

UPDATED November 14, 2017 07:18 PM

A warm storm moving into the region Wednesday is expected to bring heavy, wet snow to the Sierra and heavy rainfall, with the potential for flash floods, to Santa Rosa and other areas hit by recent wildfires.

Up to 3 feet of snow is expected to fall in the Sierra as a winter storm watch has been issued from Wednesday night through Friday morning in the Truckee area, the National Weather Service reports.

Significant impacts on mountain travel Wednesday-Thursday due to #snow. Potential for near zero visibilities at times. Avoid travel if possible! #cawx pic.twitter.com/slbM4Tc1wI

— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) November 14, 2017

The blustery weather is expected to begin during the day Wednesday, featuring a south wind from 15 mph to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph, the weather service predicts. New precipitation amounts between a half and three-quarters of an inch are possible. The brunt of the storm will hit Wednesday night.

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Rain and snow is expected to continue Thursday, turning to all snow after 10 a.m.

Heavy mountain #snow expected Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon. Plan ahead now! #cawx pic.twitter.com/00A1fl2r6u

— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) November 14, 2017

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for North Bay interior valleys and mountains, including areas affected by the Atlas, Tubbs, Nuns and Pocket fires as well as Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove neighborhood. The forecast calls for 1 to 2 inches of rain for the North Bay valleys and 2 to 3 inches for the North Bay mountains. Rainfall rates could exceed a half-inch per hour, possibly resulting in flash flooding and mudslides, according to the National Weather Service.

For the Sacramento area, rain is forecast Wednesday and Thursday. There is an 80 percent chance of precipitation, bringing between a tenth of an inch and quarter of an inch of precipitation, during the day Wednesday. Another quarter- to a half-inch of rain is forecast Wednesday night, according the the weather service.

Since Oct. 1, downtown Sacramento has received 0.61 inches of rain. Last season, the area received 3.92 inches of rain.

In case you forgot: Here's how to drive safely in winter weather

Sprinkles may begin as early as Thursday morning (November 2, 2017) in the valley before an inch or two of rain will likely fall Friday and Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Snow is expected above 6,000 feet throughout the weekend and into early next week. Lest we forget, here is how to be safe when traveling through the mountains in wintry conditions.

Anthony Sorci: 916-321-1051.