Highs will be in the mid to low 30s Wednesday through Friday, increasing the chance that snow will accumulate. By Friday it's mostly sunny.
This will be a warm storm with some runoff leading to rises in small creeks and streams and the possibility of local flooding in low-lying areas and minor rock or debris flows in the Mother Lode and mountain areas.
This Pacific storm will tap into subtropical moisture and bring periods of moderate to heavy snow above 6,000 feet along with strong gusty winds. Warning total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches, with localized amounts up to 18 inches. The heaviest snow is expected Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon. Southwest wind 15 to 25 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 30 miles per hour. Accumulation below 7,500 feet could reach more than 4 inches.
Motorists planning travel into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada during this time frame should be prepared for hazardous winter driving conditions.
Significant reductions in visibility are possible with strong wind and heavy snow.
In the higher elevations of the Sierra and elsewhere, heavy snow is possible, and people should plan on hard travel conditions.
A Winter Storm Watch means there is potential for significant snow accumulations that may create risky travel conditions.
High mountain travelers should stock an emergency kit with tire chains, a flashlight, batteries, blankets, food, water and medications.