The strongest in a series of storm systems is plowing into the West
with its impacts spreading far inland to the Rockies this weekend.
the wind and heavy rains have hit Oregon and particularly the northern
half of California. Winds in the coastal mountains either side of the
Oregon-California border gusted over 150 mph during the morning. Winds
gusted to just over 100 mph on the hill tops around Oakland and San
Francisco, causing tree and power line damage. Winds have also gusted
to between 60 and 80 mph in the Redding and Sacramento areas. The most
homes without power are in the Sacramento area. In the Columbia River
Basin, winds gusted to near 80 mph in Walla Walla, Washington, causing
Heavy rain totals in the coastal mountains north of San Francisco have reached 8 inches.
rain is gradually shifting southward from northern California into
central California and finally into Southern California. Rain totals
will range from 2 to 5 inches in the valleys and along the coast to as
much as 1 foot in the coastal mountains. Flash flooding is likely along
the entire California coast and will not be confined to burn areas.
Snow levels will plummet in the northern California mountains and the
Sierra now through Saturday morning with levels reaching valley floors
over northern California.
foot or two of snow will fall in parts of the Cascades of Washington
and Oregon. In the mountains of California, hourly snowfall rates could
reach 6 to 8 inches. Snow accumulations between 2 feet (valley floors)
and locally 12 feet (ridge tops) will bury the Sierra by the end of the
weekend. White-out, blizzard conditions will make any travel through
the Siskiyou and Sierra Mountains deadly.
Damagingly strong wind
gusts will continue over California especially in the vicinity of a
dtrong cold front, ranging from between 50 and 70 mph at the lowest
elevations to as high as between 150 and 200 mph at the ridge tops of
the Sierra. Strong and damaging winds will also impact western
Washington and most of Oregon, where winds could gust over 60 mph.
along the Washington, Oregon and northern California coasts will peak
between 30 and 35 feet overnight and high surf warnings have been
issued. Snow and damaging winds will increase through interior parts of
the West this weekend, impacting Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and the
Colorado Rockies. Several feet of snow could fall at the higher
elevations with wind gusts to over 80 mph.
rain may reach into the Desert Southwest this weekend, including the
Las Vegas area and the lower Colorado River Valley. Rain and mountain
snow will also increase over parts of Arizona and New Mexico.