Northern California weather: winter storm, rain and snow forecast


The weather in Northern California in the second half of April was, in a nutshell, strange.

Just a week after Sacramento set a daily heat record of 91 degrees, highs are expected to dip into the upper 50 degrees by next Sunday, quickly dropping from about 15 degrees warmer to 15 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain is possible on Saturday evening and probably Sunday near the capital, according to the NWS forecast. Gusts could reach 20 mph on Sunday.

The NWS has also issued a winter storm warning for the mountains, reporting heavy snowfall and significant travel delays in the Sierra Nevada range from Saturday evening to Monday morning.

Between 8 and 15 inches of snow could fall at elevations above 4,500 feet, with up to 2 feet possible at the highest peaks, according to the NWS forecast. Lighter snow will fall at approximately 4000 feet.

In the South Lake Tahoe area, overnight lows could dip into the 1920s on Sunday and Monday evening, according to forecasts.

The rain is welcome for a state that has now declared drought in two counties, but the weekend is unlikely to reduce the abysmal precipitation total in the Sacramento Valley and other parts of the state. Precipitation is expected to disappear by Monday evening.

This story was originally published April 23, 2021 11:49 am.

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Michael McGough anchors the Sacramento Bee breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A native of Sacramento and a longtime resident of the capital, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a journalism degree.

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