Severe weather has returned to Northern California this afternoon. A Winter Storm Warning went into effect for portions of the Sierra above 5500' at 4pm and is set to stay in effect through 1pm Sunday. Heavy snowfall is expected from tonight through early Sunday down to 5500', and that could result in major travel impacts. We also have a Flash Flood Watch going into effect at 7pm tonight and lasting through 6pm Saturday for the Camp, Carr, Delta, Hirz, and Mendocino Complex fire burn scars in Butte, Shasta, and Lake Counties. Rain in excess of a half an inch per hour will be possible during that time, and debris flows will be possible. The potential for thunderstorms will also bring an added threat of heavy rainfall and hail on Saturday and Sunday. A Wind Advisory has also been issued for The Northern Sacramento Valley from 10pm tonight through 1pm Saturday. Sustained winds will be up to around 30mph during that time, and we could see gusts up to 50mph. Strong winds could restult in downed trees and power outages. The winds could also bring additional travel impacts over the next 24 hours.
Heavy rain has already moved into the Coastal Range and will be tracking through the valley and Sierra this evening. Rain will be very heavy at times, and snow will be heavy in elevation above 5500'. This is a warmer storm system, so snow levels are expected to stay high. We'll see them down to around 6000' tonight, and then they will drop to around 5500' on Saturday. Some breaks in the rain will be possible in the valley overnight and early tomorrow, but it will intensify again tomorrow afternoon. Thunderstorms will be possible in the valley on Saturday and Sunday. Severe thunderstorms could produce small hail and we'll even have a slight chance for a weak tornado. The heavier rain is expected to become lighter as we head into your Sunday. Showers will be scattered, but the potential for isolated heavy rain could accompany any thunderstorms that do pop up. High temperatures are not expected to change much through your weekend, but low temperatures will stay a little bit warmer overnight.
Showers will mostly taper off by Sunday evening, and we'll be dry for the start of next week. Temperatures will become slightly warmer and skies will become mostly sunny on Monday. We'll have partly cloudy skies and mostly mild conditions on the way for the middle of next week. There will be a slight chance for some showers on the way toward the end of next week, but confidence is currently low on that potential.