The National Weather Service has issued a high-wind warning for the Sacramento region early Sunday that could rival a fierce storm Wednesday that knocked out power for 100,000 customers and toppled numerous trees in the region.
The warning advises that southerly winds could reach sustained speeds of at least 40 mph between 2 and 6 a.m. Sunday, with gusts topping 60 mph. The warning is an upgrade from a high-wind advisory issued earlier Saturday.
An advisory remains in effect from 10 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday and from 6 to 10 a.m. It warns that winds will reach consistent speeds of 25 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph during those hours.
High winds from a storm on Wednesday night led to multiple car accidents and caused roughly 100,000 homes and businesses in the Sacramento region to lose power. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. have worked around the clock since then restoring power, and the number on homes without electricity had dwindled by Saturday afternoon.
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The new storm could cause more power outages. Predicted wind speeds are “very similar” to winds seen during Wednesday’s storm, said Karl Swanberg, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
Residents “want to make sure all loose items are secure in their yard,” Swanberg said. “The peak winds are going to occur from midnight to 6 a.m. … There is a potential for downed trees and some power outages.”
The storm is expected to drop almost an inch of precipitation in Sacramento between 5 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Separately, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for much of the Sierra calling for heavy snow and gusty winds from Saturday night through early Monday. The storm is expected to dump 2 to 4 feet of snow at areas above 4,000 feet and 6 to 12 inches at areas between 3,000 and 4,000 feet. The storm could result in road closures, chain controls on roads and “white out conditions,” according to the National Weather Service.
In the Lake Tahoe area, authorities also issued several avalanche warnings Saturday afternoon.
The Placer County Office of Emergency Services issued an emergency alert Saturday around noon asking residents of Alpine Meadows to leave because of avalanche risk. The ski resort at Alpine Meadows reported about 50 fresh inches of snow had fallen during the 72 hours before 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
“The advisory is in effect for residents for all areas of the valley, and may become a mandatory evacuation if conditions worsen,” Placer OES said in a release.
Separately, the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District issued an avalanche warning for the Crystal Bay and Third Creek areas, citing the possibility of more snow, rising temperatures and heavy winds. Their strongest warning was for residents in homes along Crystal Bay, which “may be at risk by tomorrow morning,” according to a release. Officials asked residents in Crystal Bay to stock up on groceries and be prepared to stay indoors through Monday.