NOAA: Winter Storm Watch for California Today | Up to 16″ of SNOW Forecast

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Emerald Bay and the West Shore of Lake Tahoe stand to pick up 12+ inches of snow by Monday evening.
Emerald Bay and the West Shore of Lake Tahoe stand to pick up 12+ inches of snow by Monday evening.

At 1pm today, NOAA issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Sierra Nevada mountains of California from the northern border of Yosemite National Park to 14,495′ Mt. Whitney for Sunday and Monday.  Snow is forecast all over the Sierras from their northern limit up near Susanville all the way to their southern end near Tehachapi pass in southern California.

Snow levels will start high, but 3-8″ of snow is expected down to 5,000-feet by Monday evening.

* ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 16 INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET. SNOW LEVELS WILL
  LOWER TO 5000 FEET BY MONDAY EVENING WHERE ACCUMULATIONS OF 3
  TO 8 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE. - NOAA Hanford, CA

The Sierra Crest in the Lake Tahoe region is forecast to get around 12+” of snowfall according the the snowfall map below (3 images down)The Mount Rose area in north Lake Tahoe is forecast to get around a foot or more of new snow by Monday as well.

Winter Storm Watch issued by NOAA for California today.
Winter Storm Watch issued by NOAA for California today.

Up to 16″ of snow is forecast for Yosemite which most likely means that Sonora and Tioga Passes will get shut down by this storm as they are both right in the bulls-eye of this Winter Weather Advisory.

Snow will fall on the entire Sierra Nevada this weekend. Map of snow totals for the Sierras.
Snow will fall on the entire Sierra Nevada this weekend. Map of snow totals for the Sierras showing the highest snowfall totals in the south.  The Sierra Crest in Lake Tahoe is forecast to get about 12″ of snow.

Snow levels will start around 7,000-feet on Sunday and drop to 5,000-feet by Monday morning.

“A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from Sunday evening through Monday morning between Kings Canyon and Yosemite NP above 7000 feet. Snow is expected to start falling Sunday evening above 9000 feet, gradually lowering to near 5000 feet by late Monday morning. Snow amounts up to over a foot can be expected, especially above 9000 feet in the Yosemite area. Up to 6 inches is possible over the higher elevations of the Tulare county mountains, and 1 to 2 inches above 6000 feet over the Tehachapi’s by Monday night.” – NOAA Hanford, CA

Yosemite Valley could be looking a bit like this on Monday morning.
Close up of the snow forecast for the Lake Tahoe region showing 12″+ snowfalls for the Sierra Crest and Mt. Rose areas.

NOAA’s WINTER STORM WATCH TODAY:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HANFORD CA
101 PM PDT FRI OCT 30 2015

SIERRA NEVADA FROM YOSEMITE TO KINGS CANYON-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...SHAVER LAKE...YOSEMITE VALLEY

...A WINTER STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT
THROUGH LATE MONDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HANFORD HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM
WATCH FOR THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA FROM YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
TO KINGS CANYON. THE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR FROM LATE SUNDAY
NIGHT THROUGH LATE MONDAY NIGHT FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 7000 FEET.

* HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW

* ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 16 INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET. SNOW LEVELS WILL
  LOWER TO 5000 FEET BY MONDAY EVENING WHERE ACCUMULATIONS OF 3
  TO 8 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE.

* TIMING...THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED MONDAY INTO MONDAY
  EVENING.

* IMPACTS...SLICK...SNOW COVERED ROADS AND WINTER DRIVING
  CONDITIONS...POSSIBLE ROAD CLOSURES...BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW
  ACCOMPANIED BY WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES AS LOW AS THE TEENS BY
  MONDAY EVENING.

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5 thoughts on “NOAA: Winter Storm Watch for California Today | Up to 16″ of SNOW Forecast

    1. Hey Elizabeth, we mentioned Tioga in there. Almost for going to close along with Sonora, you’re right. Thanks.

  1. And so it begins…Tahoe, downgraded to 3-6 inches along the crest. Welcome to the winter of disappointment.

    Better get a ski lease in mammoth–we’re going to get stiffed again.

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