California Storm Downgraded But Still Potent | 6-18″ of Snow, 2-3″/hour Snowfall Rates, 125mph Winds

WeatherBrains | | WeatherWeather
BLUE = Snow. 10:30am radar image of CA.
BLUE = Snow. 10:30am radar image of CA.

Two days ago, NOAA was forecasting 15-24″ of snow for Lake Tahoe from the current storm.  Today, NOAA is forecasting 10-18″ of snow above 7,000-feet with very high winds.  A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the Sierra Nevada until 7pm this evening.

This storm is still very potent packing 100mph winds, and snowfall rates forecast to be as high as 2-3″ today.

SNOW WILL BEGIN THIS MORNING WITH THE HEAVIEST SNOW ANTICIPATED BETWEEN 
10 AM AND 4 PM. SNOWFALL RATES DURING THIS PERIOD COULD REACH 2 TO 3 INCHES 
PER HOUR. - NOAA Reno, NV today
Pin = Squaw Valley, CA. PINK = Winter Storm Warning.
Pin = Squaw Valley, CA. PINK = Winter Storm Warning.

NOAA is forecasting  6-14″ of snow below 7000-feet and 10-18″ of snow above 7,000-feet.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: ABOVE 7000 FEET...10 TO 18 INCHES. BELOW
  7000 FEET...6 TO 10 INCHES WITH UP TO 14 INCHES POSSIBLE
  WEST OF HIGHWAY 89. - NOAA Reno, NV today
Wind & Snow forecast today. image: noaa, today
Wind & Snow forecast today. image: noaa, yesterday

Snow levels will be down to Lake Tahoe level (6,400′).

* SNOW LEVELS:
 NEAR LAKE TAHOE LEVEL THIS MORNING...FALLING TO ALL
  VALLEY FLOORS BY THIS AFTERNOON. - NOAA Reno, NV today
image: noaa, today
image: noaa, today

Winds are already gusting to 100mph at 8,700-feet at Squaw Valley. 

* WINDS: SOUTHWEST 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 55 MPH IN VALLEYS
  WITH RIDGE GUSTS UP TO 125 MPH. THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE
  EXPECTED THIS MORNING THROUGH INTO EARLY AFTERNOON. - NOAA Reno, NV today
Winds already gusting to 100mph as of 10am today.
Winds already gusting to 100mph as of 10am today.

Mammoth and Yosemite have less snow forecast than Tahoe but will still see solid amounts of snow and wind.

12360011_970349013040576_5238936196333410924_n
Snow forecast map showing 8-12″ of snow for Tioga Pass in Yosemite and 6-8″ in town for Mammoth.
12360375_970350023040475_3838316433736522364_n
Wind forecast for southern Sierra today.

WINTER STORM WARNING for CALIFORNIA:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RENO NV
349 AM PST SUN DEC 13 2015
GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...SOUTH LAKE TAHOE...TAHOE CITY...
TRUCKEE...MARKLEEVILLE...GLENBROOK...INCLINE VILLAGE

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM PST THIS
EVENING...

* TIMING: SNOW WILL BEGIN THIS MORNING WITH THE HEAVIEST SNOW
  ANTICIPATED BETWEEN 10 AM AND 4 PM. SNOWFALL RATES DURING THIS
  PERIOD COULD REACH 2 TO 3 INCHES PER HOUR.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: ABOVE 7000 FEET...10 TO 18 INCHES. BELOW
  7000 FEET...6 TO 10 INCHES WITH UP TO 14 INCHES POSSIBLE
  WEST OF HIGHWAY 89.

* WINDS: SOUTHWEST 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 55 MPH IN VALLEYS
  WITH RIDGE GUSTS UP TO 125 MPH. THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE
  EXPECTED THIS MORNING THROUGH INTO EARLY AFTERNOON.

* SNOW LEVELS: NEAR LAKE TAHOE LEVEL THIS MORNING...FALLING TO ALL
  VALLEY FLOORS BY THIS AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS: SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW DUE TO WINDS WILL CREATE NEAR
  WHITE OUT CONDITIONS ALONG WITH ICY ROADS. SIGNIFICANT
  DELAYS AND CHAIN CONTROLS ARE POSSIBLE ON INTERSTATE 80...
  AND HIGHWAYS 50...28...88...89...267...207...AND 431.
  DANGEROUS CONDITIONS WILL EXIST FOR BACK COUNTRY ACTIVITIES
  AND ANYONE OUTDOORS DURING THIS STORM COULD EASILY BECOME
  DISORIENTED.
DARK RED = 95% chance of snow.
DARK RED = 95% chance of snow.

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