A major winter storm struck Northern California. The snow pelted parts of the 5 Freeway north of Redding.

The National Weather Service forecasts large amounts of snow accumulation, and the weather condition could spread to nearby parts like the southern Cascades and northern Sierra. It would bring with it strong winds with possibilities of power outages.

The NWS says wind speeds could be around 65 mph with rain in areas like Grass Valley. In the words of an NWS meteorologist in Sacramento: “This is a pretty widespread event. Most of California, if not all, will see some sort of rain and snow.”

The precipitation would be welcome in the drought-affected regions.

These have been facing drought for more than two decades because of Climate change.

The first big snowstorm with travel impacts

Melted snows bring water to the states, cities, tribes, farmers, and utilities. The latest U.S. drought monitor reveals parts of Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Utah in the exceptional drought category. They would welcome the arrival of snow. Forecasters caution that this would be the first big snow and could affect the travel plans of many.

Officials advised people to remain indoors because rains could mean flooding and rockslides. These could pose dangers, especially in localities ravaged by wildfires. Motorists should be careful of uprooted trees and white-out conditions.

These could be dangerous to those behind the wheel. The agency that supplies power to much of California assured that crews and equipment are available to respond to emergencies in case of a power outage.

Another storm system could hit California midweek

California might face another storm system midweek. It could deliver almost continuous snow, as revealed by a meteorologist with the Reno office of the NWS.

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The Sierra Avalanche Center also warned about heavy snow and strong winds. This combination could result in large and destructive avalanches. A ski resort reported the death of a man in an avalanche that temporarily buried five others. There are chances of power outages in the Bay Area, and work is on clearing away vegetation from power lines.

That would reduce the chance of outages.

A powerful storm could see up to 10 feet of snow in Northern California

According to Los Angeles Times, Northern California could experience up to 10 feet of snow at higher elevations due to a powerful storm. In Southern California, there would be rains from 3 inches in coastal areas to 5 inches in the foothills and mountains.

The weather service cautioned about possible travel delays. Due to a debris flow in recent burn areas, localized flooding, mud, and rockslides on a mountain road, there would be difficult driving conditions. Moreover, mountains above 7,000 feet could expect snow up to 3 feet and a couple of inches of snow in altitudes of 4,500 feet.

Of course, it would be good news for ski resorts.

The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area advised skiers and snowboarders of potentially heavy snowfall and strong winds over the next couple of days. The strong winds could bring down branches of trees with blockage of roads and downed power lines. These would disturb normal lives.