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Northern California forecast: Whiteout conditions in the Sierra, on-and-off Valley showers

By Jonathan Ayestas

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    SACRAMENTO, California (KCRA) — Snow on Friday will continue to relentlessly fall in the Sierra. The Valley will see periodic showers during the morning commute with some dry times through the afternoon.

KCRA 3 is calling Friday and Saturday Alert Days because of hazardous snowy conditions. Unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged above 5000 feet during those days.

Along with snow, there will be strong wind gusts at upper elevations. Heavy snow and wind will combine for blizzard-like conditions at times.

Winter Snowstorm Timeline The snow has been nonstop on Friday, Meteorologist Tamara Berg said.

In comparison to Thursday, Friday will have not only heavier snowfall rates, but stronger wind gusts will also be blowing the snow, creating the chance of whiteout conditions during parts of the day.

The snow level is also expected to lower on Friday, with snow falling at elevations closer to 4,000 during the day. Those levels are also forecast to go even lower Friday night into Saturday morning.

Anywhere from 25 to 35 inches of snow is expected above 6,000 feet on Friday, Berg said.

In total, from Thursday through Saturday, Berg said the Sierra could see anywhere from 6 to 9 feet of snow at elevations above 6,000 feet. Locations at 4,000 feet should expect up to two feet of snow Friday night into Saturday. A foot of snow is possible at 3,000 feet.

There is also a chance for snow at lower elevations in the Foothills.

The snow level may drop as low as 2,000 feet with minimal accumulation.

Heavy snow will continue on Saturday, along with gusty winds, Berg said.

Rain KCRA 3 is calling Friday an Impact Day for the Valley because of the rain. Berg said anywhere from a quarter-inch to a half-inch of rain is expected for the Valley.

Those showers are expected to be on and off throughout the day, ranging from moderate to heavy.

The Foothills could see more than an inch of rain as well.

Berg said there is the possibility of a few isolated thunderstorms this afternoon.

Saturday will also be an Impact Day in the Valley due to expected showers.

There is a chance for a few more showers on Sunday, but rain is expected to be less widespread.

Winds Berg said around 3 p.m. Friday is when gusty winds will be noticeable.

In the Sacramento Valley, the stronger winds will be closer to 30 mph. At higher elevations, such as South Lake Tahoe and Truckee, those winds are likely to be above 40 mph.

By 8 p.m., the Sierra will see stronger winds of around 50 mph, Berg said.

On Saturday, gusty winds will continue, especially in the Sierra.

Ski Resort Impacts Sierra-at-Tahoe will be closed on Friday.

Palisades Tahoe will also be closed.

Heavenly plans for a partial opening on Friday.

School Closures The Lake Tahoe Unified School District announced it would close all of its schools on Friday due to inclement weather.

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