How Much Snow is Expected to Fall on Sierra Nevada Roads

Sierra Nevada Roads: The Sierra Nevada and the Tahoe Basin in California are expected to be hit by a strong cold front on Wednesday night and Thursday, followed by more snow showers during the weekend. Travel is strongly discouraged, the National Weather Service tweeted on Wednesday.

The agency published snowfall forecast cross-sections for a number of major thoroughfares. For instance, at Highway 80, Alta might see a total of 6-8 inches, Donner Summit could see 18-24 inches, and Truckee could see 12-18 inches.

Yosemite National Park’s entry on Highway 120 might get 12-18 inches of precipitation, while Tenaya Lake and Tioga Pass could get 24-30 and 18-24 inches respectively.

Sierra Nevada roads
Sierra Nevada roads

Despite the fact that “we’ve had storms stronger than this one,” meteorologist Scott Rowe from the weather service predicted a “solid accumulation” of up to 1 foot, over 2 feet at pass level, and over 3 feet at the crest, with 3 to 4 feet on the highest summits.

Based on past experience, Rowe predicts that the Sierra will have snowfall effects comparable to those of the early September storm. Rowe added over the phone, “We’re also going to experience wind impacts with this storm.” “Expect some serious wind today.

The snow will be blown by the winds. Tonight and tomorrow will be the riskiest hours for travelling. Overnight, we may have 2–3 inches of snowfall, making it difficult for snowploughs to keep up. This period could last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.

Rowe mentioned that Friday could be a good day to travel through the mountains, but advised that people check with Caltrans to make sure the roads are clear. The snow will begin to let off Thursday night, and by Friday morning, the Sierra should be dry, according to Rowe of the Sacramento office.

In other words, “Friday could be a window of opportunity, but the million dollar question is what will roads be like.” Saturday night and Sunday morning will likely see another round of snow showers.

The weather service said that individuals planning to travel to the Sierra for the weekend should be aware that “snowfall rates aren’t predicted to be as strong as the first system, but storm totals could end up being similar” since light to moderate snow would remain all the way through Sunday night.

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