Get ready! The big system we've been talking about all week is arriving in Northern California today. Heavy rain, snow, and very strong South winds are all expected as the system moves into Northern California this afternoon. Snow levels are lifting as the warmer system arrives, and will more than likely end up above 5500' by this evening. Heavy rain is prompting a Flood Watch across the valley, and foothills through early Thursday morning. A Wind Advisory is set to go into effect from noon until 4pm today, and then it will turn into a High Wind Warning from 4pm until 2am Thursday. A Winter Storm Warning will be in place from this afternoon through early Friday morning, and we will also have a Blizzard Warning in portions of the Sierra on Wednesday night. Looks like we can expect up to 2.5 inches of rain in lower elevations, and several feet of snow above 5500'. We will also have the potential for thunderstorms developing tonight and tomorrow. The gusty winds paired with the heavy snowfall may produce whiteout conditions in the mountains tonight, and anyone that's able to avoid mountain travel over the next 2 days is encouraged to do so. Temperatures are in the high 40's to low 50's in the valley this morning, and in the high 20's to mid 30's in the mountains. Winds will be up to 25mph out of the South through early afternoon, and will then pick up as we head into your evening hours. Gusts up to 65mph will be possible tonight, and that could knock trees into roads or power lines. Temperatures will top out in the mid to high 50's in the valley today and into the 40's in the mountains.
The heavy rain and snow are expected to continue into your Thursday forecast, but conditions do not look quite as heavy as what's expected tonight. Winds will stay strong and out of the South. Sustained winds could continue to reach 30mph out of the South, with gusts to 45mph. There will be potential for thunderstorms in your Thursday forecast. Most areas will be drying out on Friday, and are expected to stay mostly dry on Saturday. The next wet system will then return to bring more moisture to our area on Sunday. Looks like we may be drying out early next week.