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HomeLocal & Regional NewsJH Heating Weather: NWS Calling for Snow and Gusty Wind Event

JH Heating Weather: NWS Calling for Snow and Gusty Wind Event


The National Weather Service is cautioning residents in our area to prepare for a significant storm that will affect Lassen County and northeastern California from late Wednesday night through Friday.

According to the folks at the NWS the approaching system looks to be a great one for high elevation snowpack and some water recharge for reservoirs and the soils.

“Unfortunately,” explains Chris Smallcomb, NWS Warning Coordination Meterologist, “it also looks to be a big wind maker for the region which causes it’s own set of problems.”

Smallcomb said forecasters are gaining confidence that significant snows will impact Sierra passes above 7,500 feet including Carson, Echo, Mt Rose and perhaps Donner, late Wednesday night through Friday. Possible peak snow rates on Thursday are 2-4” inches an hour.

For areas between 6,000 and 7,500 feet in elevation heavy rain will be changing to heavy snow, but the timing of this transition remains uncertain – most likely it will take place between 3:oop.m. and 9:00p.m. on Thursday.

“It could happen rather suddenly, said Smallcomb, “which makes predictability low.”

Travel around Lake Tahoe and 395 in Mono County would be impacted.

Periods of rain are expected for lower elevations including Susanville, Portola, and western Nevada with 1-3” of rain possible in N.E. California valleys. Some rivers and streams will rise but there are no flooding concerns due to very dry soils going into this event.

120814wx3Major Wind Event Expected Wednesday night through Thursday.

Wednesday night our area will begin experiencing very strong winds that are expected to last through Thursday.

According to Smallcomb we could experience more than 18 hours of strong winds reaching over 100 miles per hour on Sierra ridges. Winds will be widespread and affecting more than just the usual wind-prone areas.

Here in the valley sustained winds are forecast to blow between 40 and 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 70 mph possible.

Travel along local highways will be hazardous for high-profile vehicles and significant turbulence for air travel.

What does this mean for streams and snowpack?

We need 3-5 solid atmospheric river type storms each winter to receive a healthy snowpack,” explains Smallcomb, “this is one of those storms.”

Forecast precipitation amounts in the Sierra would make this a notable storm by December and January standards, but not historic. Smallcomb also said that it is important to note that it has been a couple years since we’ve had a widespread high wind event.

For more information you can click here for current conditions at


Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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