Meteorologists at National Weather Service offices in Northern California are posting a range of warnings looking into the weekend and beyond, as they predict unseasonably cold and wet conditions to last through Monday.
Meteorologist Alex Dodd said snow will start falling Saturday above about 5,000 feet. A posting by the NWS said 8 to 16 inches of snow may accumulate over 4,500 feet. Through the weekend, those elevations will drop to 3,000 feet and 3 to 6 inches by Sunday night and down to 1,500 feet or lower by Monday.
To put that in perspective, Collier Tunnel is at about 2,500 feet, Patricks Creek is about 1,000 and Gasquet is about 380 feet.
Dodd said 2 to 5 inches of snow accumulation will be possible at the 1,500 foot level, with heavier accumulation and longer durations of snow at higher elevations.
As for temperatures, the Del Norte Coast may reach a new low.
“This should be the coldest air of the season so far,” Dodd said. “We’ll have highs not cracking 50 degrees and Gasquet will be in the low 40s. We may even see low 40s on the coast.”
On the coast, drivers may encounter heavy rain and hail through the weekend,
Coastal rain will continue into Monday night as temperatures begin to return to normal.
Dodd said a weaker system may bring more rain to the coast around Thursday, but is too far away to predict accurately.
Most of Northern California is expected to see tempestuous weather this weekend and forecasters have issued a range of warnings.
NWS is discouraging motorists from driving the Sierra passes, the northern coast range, citing possible white-out conditions. Around the Bay area, flash flood warnings have been issued in areas around the north bay and high wind warnings have been issued in areas around Stockton and Modesto this weekend, with predictions of 50-plus mph gusts there.
Before traveling, refer to local forecasts at http://weather.gov/eka class="Apple-converted-space">