The next round of weather coming to the Mother Lode is coming out of the Gulf of Alaska and it could bring rain above 4,000 feet and snow above 6,000 feet in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties late Tuesday and early Wednesday, forecasters said Monday morning.
“South of Interstate 80 is the best chance for rain and snow showers,” Brendon Rubin-Oster, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sacramento, said in a phone interview before 11 a.m. “Highest accumulations will be around 7,500 feet and above that for snow. Rain showers in the Central Sierra foothills 4,000 feet and above.”
In Yosemite Valley, it’s likely to rain at the valley floor, 4,000 feet elevation, and snow is more likely at elevations 6,000 feet and above throughout the national park, Rubin-Oster said.
According to Monday morning forecasts, chances of rain late Tuesday for Angels Camp, Sonora and other foothill towns along Highway 49 in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties will be 10 percent to 20 percent.
“The brunt of the winds will be farther north, stronger north of Highway 50, drier winds north of 50,” Rubin-Oster said. “Breezy winds, more moisture-laden, are expected south of the 50.”
Snow forecasts Monday show 6 to 8 inches possible late Tuesday and early Wednesday at Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4. Further south, 4 to 6 inches of snow are possible at Sonora Pass on Highway 108 and at Tioga Pass on Highway 120.
The forecasts have prompted utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric administrators to activate their emergency operations center and warn of possible strong offshore winds beginning early Wednesday through Thursday morning north of the Mother Lode and Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.
Pacific Gas and Electric may turn off power to 250,000 customers in portions of 19 counties in the Northern Sierra foothills, North Valley and North Bay. Customers who could see their power shut off later this week live in counties, including Plumas, Butte, Sierra, Nevada, Yuba, Placer, Sutter, El Dorado, Trinity, Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, Yolo, Solano, Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake and Napa.
Contact Guy McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.