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Moderate Storm System Moves in Tonight, Impacts Continue through Thursday


By: National Weather Service Sacramento CA

Image: NWS Sacramento
March 5, 2013 - A significant weather system will impact interior northern California Tonight into Friday. Expect moderate valley rain with likely thunderstorms and moderate to heavy mountain snow, along with periods of breezy to strong winds. The brunt of the rain/snow is expected between Tonight and Wednesday afternoon, but showers continue into Friday.

This Week's Storm:

Timing & Estimates:

Precipitation becomes widespread and heavy Tonight into Wednesday. The heaviest precipitation over Coastal Range and Shasta County will be this evening then impact the Central Valley and Western Sierra slopes overnight into Wednesday afternoon. Showers will continue into Friday with thunderstorms possible Wednesday and Thursday.

Rain: 0.5" to 1.0" in the valley. Locally higher amounts up to 1.5 inches possible esp. around Redding. See attached image.

Rain: 1.0" to 2" over extreme eastern valley/Sierra foothills.

Snow: 10 to 20" accumulation near 5000 ft and higher including I-80 and US-50 corridors with up to 30" possible for the higher peaks in Western Plumas County and Lassen Peak.

Snow Accumulation Rates around 2 inches possible in the Sierra along Interstate 80 around 4 am Wednesday morning.

Snow Levels: 4500-6000 feet tonight, lowering to around 3000-4000 feet Wednesday morning.

Thunderstorms: Wednesday and Thursday...especially afternoon/early evening. Thunderstorms may bring abundant small hail and gusty outflow winds. Isolated funnel clouds or tornadoes are possible.

Winds: Strongest winds Tonight into Wednesday morning for the valley with gusts to around 45 mph. Gusts up to 70 mph expected over higher elevations Tonight into Wednesday.


Travel will be affected over Sierra roadways such as I-80 and US-50 beginning late Tonight.

Reduced visibility due to blowing and drifting snow.

Local power outages possible with winds.

Small hail may accumulate on valley roadways on Wednesday and Thursday


High Confidence in a moderate storm system this week, and its associated impacts. Medium confidence in precipitation amounts and for thunderstorms developing Wednesday and Thursday. Low to medium confidence in possibility of Isolated tornadoes Wednesday and Thursday.


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