Storm could bring feet of snow to Sierra Nevada, then rain and wind to L.A.
If California got snow, its biggest storm to date would be a double whammy.
State forecasts call for an estimated 12 to 16 inches of snow across the Sierra on Monday, with 10 to 15 inches possible over parts of Southern California.
“The heaviest snowstorm of the season is on the way,” said Ryan Koehn, an avalanche forecaster with the U.S. Forest Service.
“It’s likely to be a very intense snow event, even for the Sierra Nevada. I’d say we could get the biggest snowstorm of the year. It’s a strong snow event,” Koehn said.
The big snow is likely to come Sunday afternoon to overnight, and will then slow and finally stop overnight on Monday.
The Sierra Nevada received more than 70 inches of snow in January, including 50 inches of fresh snow and 25 inches of snow still in the trees from the previous winter.
And the Big Snow event also has a silver lining. If snow doesn’t come, there’s a chance of rain and strong sunshine on Tuesday
“A new era in winter weather is underway,” Koehn, of the U.S. Forest Service, said Tuesday of the storm that could bring snow to Sierra Nevada, then rain and wind to Los Angeles.
“We expect all of our forecast models to be very close together,” U.S. National Weather Service forecaster Kevin DeYoung said. “If there is not the snow, a little bit of rain and sunshine should be pretty normal this year, at least for the central area.”
Forecast models from National, European and Canadian agencies all agree on a big snow-rain combo, with storm total snow accumulations likely to be in the range of 10-15 inches, with a higher probability for higher totals than seen last winter.
Snow could bring strong winds across the entire Sierra Nevada.
Forecasts call for storm gusts up to 70 mph in the high Sierra. Winds will likely be strongest on the northern Sierra slope in the morning and afternoon, then begin to