Major Winter Storm with Significant Travel Impacts This Weekend; Wet Week Continues

November 29, 2019 – Snow showers continue in the Sierra and upper foothills today with generally light accumulations, tapering off this afternoon. A significant winter storm arrives for the weekend starting Saturday with snow levels initially in the upper foothills then rising to pass levels by Sunday.

Feet of snow are possible at and around the Sierra passes through the weekend.

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Breezy southerly winds are expected in the Valley, mainly south of I-80 Saturday night through Sunday. Snow decreases Monday night, with lighter snow accumulations continuing into Tuesday.

Wet pattern will continue into next week, though confidence is low on timing and precipitation amounts. 

Impacts

  • Major mountain travel delays
  • Low visibility due to a combination of wind & heavy snow
  • Chain controls for mountain travel, highway closures
  • Snow showers possible down into the foothills Saturday
  • Minor roadway flooding
  • Slick roadways 

Forecast Confidence

  • High for high elevation heavy snow 
  • High for snow levels 

Timing

  • Today 
    • Lingering Sierra snow showers, tapering off this afternoon
  • Saturday – Monday
    • Widespread precipitation spreads over the region Saturday
    • Snow levels 2000 feet Saturday, rising to near or above pass levels late Sunday
      • Heavy snow Coastal and northern mountains
        • Heaviest snow amounts expected late Saturday
        • Generally 6 to 12 inches, local amounts up to 2 feet 
        • Accumulations beginning in the foothills Saturday
      • Sierra Nevada
        • Heaviest snow amounts expected Saturday evening into Sunday
        • Generally 2 to 3 feet of snow at pass levels
        • Accumulations beginning in the foothills Saturday
      • Valley
        • Moderate to heavy rain across the Valley
        • Heaviest rain Saturday evening into early Sunday
    • Lighter rain/snow showers persist into late Monday/Tuesday mainly in the Sierra Nevada with snow levels at or above pass levels
    • Additional storms could bring rain and mountain snow by midweek, and again by late next week