Weather

Winter is here with forecast of heavy Sierra snow, good Sacramento rain

Travel will be difficult on Friday in the Sierra.
Travel will be difficult on Friday in the Sierra. National Weather Service

Winter arrived on Wednesday with some good news: A cold system is likely to bring heavy snowfall to the Sierra on Friday.

While recent storms have dropped a lot of rain on Northern California, snowfall has not been that plentiful because the atmospheric rivers have been rather warm. However, that is about to change.

Snow levels will start out high and then drop Friday and Saturday as cooler air moves into the Sierra Nevada behind the weather front, according to the National Weather Service.

Heavy snow down to the 3,000-feet elevation level is predicted for Friday night.

Christmas day is expected to be dry in Sacramento and only light snow showers are predicted in the mountains. Sacramento already has received more than the average amount of rainfall for December.

The rainfall total for the month stands at 3.53 inches. Normal for December in Sacramento is 3.48.

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The rainfall total for the season, which starts Oct. 1, stands at 9.27 inches, which is 165 percent of normal. The detailed, seven-day forecast from the NWS for the Sacramento region:

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 10 a.m. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming north northwest around 6 mph in the morning.

Wednesday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 38. Light and variable wind.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 56. Calm wind.

Thursday night: Rain likely after 4 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43. Calm wind becoming south-southeast around 5 mph in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Friday: Rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. Breezy, with a south-southeast wind 13 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Friday night: Rain. Low around 41. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Saturday: A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51.

Saturday night: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34.

Christmas Day: Mostly sunny, with a high near 49.

Sunday night: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35.

Monday: A slight chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 50.

Monday night: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35.

Tuesday: A slight chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 53.

Cheryl Hawes of The Plant Foundry in Sacramento shares tips on protecting tender succulents, citrus and other plants from frost.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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