Severe weather is on the way to Northern California, and it's going to bring major travel impacts to our region this weekend. You may want to take advantage of the dry weather lingering today before the rain, snow, and gusty winds arrive. Skies have become mostly cloudy this morning, and that has helped to keep temperatures slightly warmer for the start of your Friday. Valley areas have dipped into the mid 30's overnight, and mountain areas have dipped into the 20's to 30's this morning. Skies will stay cloudy today, and winds are expected to stay light. High temperatures will end up in the mid 50's in the valley this afternoon, and in the mid 40's in the mountains. Clouds will continue to increase as we head into tonight, but we'll be staying dry through Saturday morning.
Heavy rain and snow will move through the coast and into Northern California quickly on Saturday morning. Heavy rain is expected in the valley, and heavy low elevation snow can be expected in the mountains. Snow levels will mostly range between 3000' to 4000', but portions of Shasta County may get snow down to 2500'. The heavy rain and snow will be paired with gusty South winds. Winds could reach gusts of 50mph in the valley, and 70mph in the Sierra on Saturday. The very active weather ahead is prompting a Winter Storm Watch from Saturday morning through Sunday morning in the and there will also be a Winter Storm Warning in place above 3500' in the Sierra from 11am Saturday until 11pm Saturday night. Mountain travel impacts are likely, and you're going to need chains if you're heading through the mountains this weekend. The snow and wind could make it difficult for drivers to see, so you're advised to use extra caution. Lighter showers will continue on Sunday, but snow levels will be on the rise. Snow levels could lift to around 6000' by Sunday afternoon.
Another strong wet system is expected to make it's way through Northern California from late Sunday into Monday. More heavy rain and snow are likely with that system, and it could persist into Tuesday. Yet another wet system looks to take aim at Northern California on Wednesday of next week, but timing and amounts are hard to nail down right now. Dry weather is expected to return for the end of next week.