The National Weather Service has declared that a Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, to 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, for Eastern Plumas, Lassen and Sierra counties.
Heavy snow coupled with strong southwest winds is expected. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are likely with visibility below one-half mile at times. Sample snowfall amounts are: 1-3 inches for Susanville, 4-8 inches for Portola, 6-12 inches for Truckee and Tahoe, and 15-20 inches at passes. Valley wind gusts to 50 mph, ridges to 100 mph.
A warning has also been issued for Western Plumas County and Lassen Park where total snow accumulations of 14 to 18 inches, with localized amounts up to 40 inches, are possible.
Snowfall is expected to begin Saturday morning with the highest snowfall rates from roughly noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. Snow is expected to taper to light showers after sunrise Sunday.
Travel could be very difficult Saturday afternoon into early Sunday over Sierra passes including Donner I-80, echo US-50, and Yuba CA-49, and Fredonyer CA-36. Plan double or more the typical travel times. Strong winds could cause low visibilities and power interruptions at times.
Avoid travel over the Sierra Saturday afternoon and evening if possible. You could be stuck in your vehicle for many hours. If you must travel, prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water and clothing. If you stay home, have a backup plan in case of power outages. The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.