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Keep the snow shovel, umbrella handy for next couple of days in Sierra, Sacramento

Heavy snow brings out smiles in Tahoe area

Man and beast found reason for excitement after a heavy Lake Tahoe snowstorm around New Year's Day 2017. Video collected via Instagram with permission. @theadventuresofbeezus @Californiaprgirl @williamwillski @Anna_bam @damonlvu
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Man and beast found reason for excitement after a heavy Lake Tahoe snowstorm around New Year's Day 2017. Video collected via Instagram with permission. @theadventuresofbeezus @Californiaprgirl @williamwillski @Anna_bam @damonlvu

Gusty winds that blew into the Sacramento area Tuesday afternoon are expected to accompany rain into Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the Central Valley and foothills, effective until 7 a.m. Wednesday, with a forecast for south winds of 15 to 30 mph and gusts up to 45 mph.

Tuesday’s storm brought rain to Sacramento and snow to the Sierra. As of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, downtown Sacramento had recorded 0.36 inches of rain since midnight, with 0.38 reported at Sacramento Executive Airport, said Johnnie Powell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Sacramento International Airport recorded 0.72 inches, while 0.51 inches was reported in Roseville.

Along Highway 80, Blue Canyon, at the 5,000-foot elevation, reported 3 feet of snow on the ground, Powell said.

The National Weather Service is predicting a “very active weather pattern” through Wednesday. The pattern is forecast to adjust on Thursday and Friday, when a low-pressure system exits to the east, allowing for a window of dry weather in a wet week.

Showers are forecast for Wednesday in Sacramento, with a quarter to a half-inch of rain possible during the day. A high near 53 degrees is expected.

In the Truckee area, snow is forecast before 11 p.m. Tuesday night, then rain and snow through Wednesday, with a high around 37 degrees..

TRAFFIC UPDATE: Live conditions on Sacramento, north state highways

The Forest Service Sierra Avalanche Center issued an backcountry avalanche warning for area roads from 4 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday morning. Alta-Dutch Flat Elementary School and all Tahoe Truckee Unified schools were closed Tuesday because of the heavy snow.

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Looking into the weekend, the weather service is forecasting that an upper-level low from the Gulf of Alaska will slowly shift south and west. At the same time, it will tap into water from a Pacific Ocean moisture plume.

That is predicted to set up a moist southwest flow, an atmospheric river into northern and central California. Significant snow is predicted Saturday for the Sierra. The heaviest rainfall is expected around midday Sunday into early Monday.

Frank Gehrke of the California Department of Water Resources said on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, that considering the amount of bare ground apparent in the Sierra Nevada not long ago, the snowpack and water content shown in the first official measureme

The detailed, seven-day forecast from the weather service for the Sacramento region:

Tuesday night:Showers. Temperature rising to around 52 by 1 a.m. Windy, with south southeast wind 15 to 20 mph, increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Wednesday: Showers. High near 53. South wind 7 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half an inch possible.

Wednesday night: A 50 percent chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 41. Light south wind. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Thursday: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before 11 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51. Light and variable wind becoming northwest around 6 mph in the afternoon. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Thursday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 34. North northwest wind around 7 mph.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 48.

Friday night: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

Saturday: Rain. Cloudy, with a high near 51.

Saturday night: Rain. Cloudy, with a low around 48.

Sunday: Rain. Cloudy, with a high near 58.

Sunday night: Rain. Cloudy, with a low around 49.

Monday: Rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 60.

Monday night: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41.

Tuesday: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 54.

The most recent storm hitting Northern California has dropped up to 2 1/2 feet of snow on some parts of Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, the resort reported on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2016. More storms and snow are predicted in coming days.

Gusty southerly winds will pick up across much of the Central Valley by later in the afternoon of Jan. 3, 2017. Gusts of 35-45 mph will be possible by evening.

Watch the Caltrans tow-plow in action. This is the first to be put into service in California. Travelers should be aware that the snow-removal machine takes up two full lanes of highway.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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