Lots of weather to get ready for this weekend. Winds will pick up Saturday gusting as high as 60 mph in the afternoon (kicking off a Wind Advisory) ahead of a cold front which will bring heavy snow to the mountains (kicking off a Winter Storm Warning running from mid-day Saturday through Monday morning.) Travel over the mountains the second half of the weekend will be challenging with high winds combining with the heavy snow to produce whiteout conditions. By the end of the weekend, total mountain snowfalls could exceed three feet on the peaks, and amounts in the Sierra Valleys, which will vary greatly depending on elevation, will likely range from several inches to a foot or more.
In the valleys, the high winds will initially limit how much precipitation we will see getting over the mountains, but a slight chance of Saturday showers of rain becomes a likely chance on Sunday and Sunday night. Snow levels will drop close to the valley floors by early Monday, but it is unlikely we will see significant accumulations below the 5,000’ elevation.