SACRAMENTO (AP / CBS13) – California faces a stormy vacation week, with heavy snowfall in the mountains and widespread rains elsewhere, forecasters said on Monday.
Successive waves of precipitation moving across northern California from Tuesday to Sunday afternoon will cover parts of the Sierra Nevada with 1 to 5 feet (0.3 to 1.5 meters) of snow and possibly up to at 8 feet (2.4 meters) at some higher elevations, the National Weather Service said.
Winter is coming back inside #NorCal starting Tuesday and will probably stay at least next weekend. Expect significant impacts on vacation travel from Wednesday as dangerous mountain travel conditions are expected. Plan for delays and chain checks! #CAwx pic.twitter.com/zR3N3COEK8
– NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) December 19, 2021
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Forecasters said the storms would bring significant potential for low-lying snow, including on Interstate 5 north of Redding, an area where storms last week closed the freeway for nearly 24 hours.
Little snowfall is expected after Tuesday, and major travel difficulties are expected in the mountains, the weather service said.
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“The gusty winds will further reduce visibility during this event with local whiteout conditions possible,” forecasters said. “Travelers on vacation should prepare for winter driving conditions by packing chains, warm winter clothing, and extra food and water. “
Wet weather conditions will begin to affect southern California on Tuesday evening and bring rain and high elevation snow through Thursday, followed by unstable and wet weather throughout the weekend.
A series of storms will bring in significant snow and at times make it difficult, if not impossible, to travel through the Sierra as we head into Christmas weekend. Those who live in the mountains should stock up on extra food so that we don’t have Donner Party type stories in a few weeks. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/50D9AKIPrj
– NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) 20 December 2021
The Los Angeles Weather Bureau said images of water vapor over the Pacific showed an atmospheric river developing as moisture drained from an area east of Hawaii.
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Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.