What is likely to be the strongest storm of the season is bearing down on the area. Strong winds and heavy snow will create blizzard conditions in the mountains (a Blizzard Warning is in effect from 10 am Thursday to 1 pm Friday), making travel over the mountains tough if not impossible during that time frame. Mountain snowfall totals over the next three days could range from 2-5 feet depending on location, with the valleys seeing significant amounts, but significantly less than the mountains. Rain and snow mix in the valleys Thursday morning should turn to snow at all elevations by Thursday evening. A valley Wind Advisory kicks in early Thursday, and a Winter Weather advisory starts up after 4 pm Thursday into Friday morning. Valley accumulations will vary greatly depending on elevation and location (east-west) in the valley, but by Saturday could range from an inch or two to over 6 inches in some places. Temperatures will be in the 40s Thursday before dropping to the 30s Friday and Saturday.
And in case you are wondering, a blizzard doesn’t just entail heavy snow. In order to be a blizzard, a storm has to have winds 35 mph or higher, reduce visibility to ¼ mile or less, and last a minimum of three hours.