Hello everyone! This is meteorologist Tom
Dang with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. While we are still dealing with
a low pressure system bringing Valley showers and high elevation snow, we wanted to start
highlighting a strong wind event setting up for Thursday through Saturday. This will be
a once-in-several-years event that may hit the Sierra pretty hard. In this briefing,
we’ll discuss the primary impacts expected with this wind event, along with the whens,
wheres, and how strong. This presentation was prepared on November 20, 2013. As mentioned
before, this kind of windstorm only hits northern California once every several years, with
the last such windstorm occurring in late 2011. While this system won’t be quite as
strong as the 2011 storm, the impacts will be similar. The impacts might be relatively
severe, with downed trees and power outages likely along the Sierra. Hazardous travel
conditions will begin Thursday evening through Saturday morning across Southern Cascade and
Sierra mountain passes. Treacherous conditions are also expected to outdoor recreation, including
to the ski resorts. It’s best to start planning around this windstorm. If you need to travel
across the mountain passes, you may want to consider leaving early or waiting until after
the winds subside. Also, have an emergency kit ready with non-perishable food and water.
This map depicts the predicted highest wind gusts over the next few days. As you can immediately
see, strong wind gusts are expected across much of the southern Cascades and along the
northern Sierra. Wind gusts of 80 mph and above may be possible along the higher terrain.
The periods of strongest winds over the mountains will be Thursday night and Friday night, but
the daytime periods will be windy as well. Breezy conditions are also expected along
the western Sacramento Valley and adjacent Coastal Range Thursday through Friday. The
best way to receive weather updates is to follow these websites. Our homepage is weather.gov/sacramento.
Also, interact with us on Facebook and Twitter! We always appreciate weather reports and pictures.
If sending a weather report on Twitter, remember to use the hashtag sacwx. Thanks for tuning
in, and be safe!