Rare blizzard warning for Mammoth, Tahoe: 'Not the time to gamble with ... your family's lives'

Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

The highest point of Interstate 5 between Redding and the Oregon border — a spot just north of the city of Mount Shasta — could get 6 to 18 inches of snow.

Closer to Southern California, there's a 20% to 30% chance of up to 1 inch of snow along the Interstate 5 over the Tejon Pass, commonly referred to as the Grapevine, which connects L.A. County to the Central Valley.

And there's also a 20% to 30% chance of 1 to 2 inches of snow along Highway 58 over the Tehachapi Pass, the key route between Bakersfield and the Mojave Desert.

The blizzard warning extended to areas of Yosemite National Park outside of Yosemite Valley between Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning. Yosemite Valley — the most popular section of the national park — faces a winter storm warning Saturday morning through Sunday morning. There could be blowing snow in Yosemite Valley on Saturday and heavy snow accumulations.

It's not clear when the Sierra storm will truly be over. The worst snowfall and winds may taper by Sunday, forecasters said, but scattered snow showers could still happen.

"Monday appears to be the best setup for post-storm cleanup and travel for now, but that doesn't appear to be it in terms of the storm potential," the weather service office in Reno said, with the potential for one or two more storms next week.


In Los Angeles and Ventura counties, light to moderate rain was expected to start either Thursday night or Friday, persisting through at least Saturday, the National Weather Service office in Oxnard said. The storm could bring one-quarter to 1 inch of rain along the coast and in the valleys, with 1 to 2 inches in the foothills and mountains.

Snow levels in L.A. County could fall as low as 3,500 feet above sea level on Saturday night into Sunday. In Wrightwood, 4 to 6 inches of snow could fall.

The San Francisco Bay Area was expected to see rain and gusty weather return as early as Thursday, and continue through Saturday, with snow levels falling to 2,000 feet above sea level.

The Sacramento Valley is expected to see strong winds, with gusts of 35 to 50 mph possible from Marysville in Yuba County northward, the weather service office in Sacramento said.


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