SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A strong, winter-like storm will move in Wednesday night and last until Friday morning.
The biggest impact from this storm will be felt in the mountains, creating hazardous traveling conditions. Snow will begin to fall in the Sierra late Wednesday and will continue, heavily at times, through Thursday. About 1 to 2 feet of snow is expected.
There will be a winter storm warning in effect from 5 p.m. Wednesday until 11 a.m. Friday.
In the high Sierra, those incoming storm clouds are a very welcome sight. Instead of doom and gloom, the clouds are bringing much-needed relief, putting a damper on fire danger and restocking some of the shrinking snowpack.
For Heavenly, Kirkwood and Palisades Tahoe, the three ski resorts that are still open, the season has new life.
“Two feet potentially of fresh snow to ski on,” said Alex Spychalsky, Palisades Tahoe marketing manager.
Spychalsky had some breaking news for FOX40. Instead of closing May 1, the resort is extending the season to at least May 15 thanks to this incredible April.
“We’ve gotten more snow in April than we did in January, February and March combined this year. So interesting season we’re having,” said Alex Spychalsky, marketing manager at Palisades Tahoe. “What’s coming in tonight is a serious, mid-winterlike storm. We could see 20 to 26 inches at our upper elevations by the time it clears out on Friday morning. So that is a lot of snow, especially for this time of year. We’re towards the end of April. A lot of the other ski resorts are already closed.”
“So we’re seven days a week through May 1st. Then, we’ll go to Friday to Sunday for the next two weekends. But who knows, we’re really committed to spinning the lifts until we cannot anymore,” Spychalsky said.
Ski instructor Bjorn Frithiof enjoys all kinds of conditions, but nothing compares to what’s coming this weekend.
“Powder skiing is just about the best feeling in the world. It’s unreal. It’s like surfing on snow, but times 1,000,” Frithiof said.
Driving on the snow, however, is a different story.
That’s why the California Highway Patrol is advising people to expect heavy snowfall and significant travel impacts during the storm, especially Thursday.
Or drivers could take Frithiof’s advice.
“if you’re going to do it, make sure you have an emergency kit in the car, something to stay warm, plenty of clothing, plenty of water, extra food, chains if you’re dealing with two-wheel drive. Know how to put them on and off, know whether your car is rear or front-wheel drive,” Frithiof advised.
The valley and foothill region will see periods of rain. The heaviest rain will likely arrive on Thursday. Thunderstorms are also a possibility, which could bring heavy downpours.