Two down and one to go – the third in a series of storms is expected to arrive late Saturday, bringing more wind and rain to the Sacramento area and snow to the Sierra Nevada.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the Sacramento Valley for 10 p.m. Saturday through 10 a.m. Sunday, while a winter storm warning for the Sierra is in effect until early Monday morning.
The California Department of Transportation advised motorists traveling over Sierra passes this weekend to be prepared for significant delays, particularly on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit and Highway 50 over Echo Summit. A Caltrans news release cited the National Weather Service’s forecast for heavy snowfall and windy conditions, as well as cold temperatures. Snow levels are expected to be around 4,000 feet.
Winds over Sierra ridges are expect to increase from 70 mph to more than 100 mph on Sunday, according to the Weather Service warning, with gusts up to 40 mph at lower elevations.
A mudslide Friday closed a section of Highway 49 north of Camptonville in Yuba County, and Caltrans reported that flooding is a concern in the foothills.
Showers are forecast for the Sacramento area Saturday, with rain and wind picking up Saturday night and continuing into Sunday. Sustained winds of 30 to 35 mph and gusts up to 50 mph are expected, said Johnnie Powell a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Showers are forecast through Monday.
“Then a ridge finally builds Tuesday and it should be sunny the rest of the week,” Powell said.
The storm that blew through Thursday night and Friday morning delivered 0.67 inches of rain to downtown Sacramento, 0.63 inches in Elk Grove and 0.70 inches to Roseville and Sacramento International Airport, he said.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, Sacramento’s rainfall total for the season stood at 18.71 inches, nearly twice the normal of 9.56 inches, Powell said. A total 9.2 inches had fallen so far this month, he said.
Winds accompanied the rain, with a gust of 52 mph recorded at 7 a.m. Friday at Sacramento International Airport, but they appeared to cause less havoc than Wednesday night’s storm, giving utility crews a chance to complete repairs and restore power after widespread outages.
As of about 5 p.m. Friday, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s website showed only 89 outages affecting a total of 699 customers, down from a peak of about 140,000 customers. The largest number of customers without power were in the Arden and Florin areas.
Golden Empire Elementary School in the Sacramento Unified School District was closed Friday due to a power outage affecting the campus.
In areas served by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., 118 customers were without power late Friday afternoon in Meadow Vista, 80 in Soda Springs and 241 in Twin Bridges, according the the company’s website.
As the latest storm wound down Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation tweeted that flows in the lower American River from Nimbus Dam would be decreased to 8,000 cubic feet per second on Saturday. Earlier this month, federal water officials had increased the flows to 30,000 cfs. The bureau noted that the river flows may change as conditions change.