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Snowstorm expected to hit Sierra this weekend; winter watering rules take effect in Sacramento

Snow forecast for Northern California

A winter storm watch has been issued for the northern Sierra Friday night through early Sunday morning, November 3-5, 2017, with possible hazardous travel conditions.
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A winter storm watch has been issued for the northern Sierra Friday night through early Sunday morning, November 3-5, 2017, with possible hazardous travel conditions.

The first fall storm of 2017 is expected to dump up to 2 1/2 feet of snow across the Sierra region over the weekend.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento is predicting 24 to 30 inches of snow in Lassen Park and 12 to 18 inches in Donner, Carson, Ebbets, Tioga and Sonora passes. Several inches are also expected in the Shasta National Forest.

Snowfall will likely begin at 6,500 feet Friday night with 20- to 30-mph winds, though areas at 5,500 feet should see light dusting on Saturday. A brief break Sunday morning will be followed by flurries that night and into Monday evening, then another storm starting about Thursday of next week.

Most of the Sacramento Valley will receive half an inch to an inch of rain over the weekend, with more than an 1 1/2 inches expected in Auburn, Oroville and Placerville. Winds are expected to remain mild.

A half-inch to an inch of rain is expected to fall on fire-ravaged areas, including Santa Rosa and Redwood Valley, though with flames completely extinguished as of Monday night, the downpour may bring more harm. Much of the soil and vegetation normally charged with soaking up rain was incinerated earlier this month, leaving little to stop the water from collecting ash and flowing onto roadways, said Mike Smith, weather service meteorologist.

“That’s something we’re watching, for sure,” Smith said. “It’s definitely a concern at this point.”

Winter won’t officially be upon the U.S. until Dec. 21. But with wet weather expected following the end of daylight saving time this Sunday, Northern California appears to be leaving an unseasonably hot October behind.

The city of Sacramento’s Department of Utilities is restricting home garden watering to once per week – Saturday or Sunday – and recommends residents turn off their sprinkler systems entirely through the winter. Twice-weekly watering will be allowed again on March 1.

Leaves, green waste and even fallen trees can be scooped up by “The Claw,” which began rolling through residential neighborhoods Wednesday for this first time this season. All piles will be collected by Nov. 10, with pickups every two weeks to follow through the end of January. A pickup schedule is available on the city’s website.

Caltrans offers tips for driving and traveling over the Sierra to Lake Tahoe in winter conditions of snow and rain.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel

Need ‘The Claw’? Here are the rules

▪ Piles should be no more than five cubic yards in size (4-by-4 by-9 feet).

▪ Place the pile 6 feet from any obstruction (cars, boats, basketball hoops, etc.)

▪ Make sure there is space between the curb and pile to allow water to flow to storm drains.

▪ When possible, avoid placing piles in bike lanes.

▪ Do not put pet waste in any yard waste pile or container. Pet waste goes into the garbage container.

▪ Piles should not be in plastic bags.

▪ Christmas trees will be accepted in piles.

Winter watering rules, suggestions

▪ All addresses in the city of Sacramento can water one weekend day per week – Saturday or Sunday.

▪ It is always wise to water before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

▪ Remember to water with the weather. If rain is in the forecast, be sure to turn-off sprinklers for at least one week, and use multiple short times to avoid runoff.

▪ Drip or microspray irrigation, vegetable gardens and potted plants are exempt from the watering schedules.

Source: City of Sacramento Department of Utilities

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