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Strong Sierra snowstorm for end-of-week truckers

Impacts mostly over high-elevation mountain passes

(Photo: CHP)

A Pacific storm will bring periods of moderate to heavy snowfall Thursday and Friday to the Sierra Nevada, as well as the southern Cascades. Travel delays and chain controls will impact mountain travel.

Snow levels Thursday will range from 4,500 to 5,500 feet in northern California and 5,000 to 7,000 feet in eastern California. Cooler air Thursday night and Friday will drop snow levels to around 3,000 to 4,500 feet in northern California and 4,000 to 6,000 feet in eastern California. Most of the accumulating snow will occur Thursday and Thursday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the high elevations of Trinity and Siskiyou counties, California, which includes the Mount Shasta region. This is where drivers may hit some of the worst conditions, with up to 12-plus inches of accumulation and wind gusts up to 60 mph. Occasional whiteout conditions are likely.

Other high elevations of northern California, as well as eastern California, could see snowfall totals exceeding 12 inches and/or blowing snow. This will impact places such as Lassen Volcanic National Park, the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Scott Mountain, Devils Postpile, Florence Lake, Lake Thomas Edison, Tuolumne Meadows and Shaver Lake.

The storm could impact drivers on portions of I-5 and I-80, with road closures possible at times. Heavy, wet snow could weigh down power lines in some areas, resulting in loss of power.

Periods of snowfall will also slow down drivers Friday and Saturday in the Northern Rockies and the Cascades of Washington and Oregon.

Look for weather updates throughout the week on the FreightWaves website and social media accounts.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.