Winter storm warnings were set to start going into effect along California’s mountainous eastern spine Wednesday as a new cold front approached.
The system is the latest in a series of spring storms that has followed a dry winter that left California deep in drought.
Widespread rain, heavy mountain snow and periods of gusty winds were predicted to begin Wednesday afternoon and last into Friday, possibly spreading showers down into Southern California, the National Weather Service said.
“This system continues to look like a very good late-season precipitation event for the region,” the Sacramento weather office wrote.
Higher elevations were expected to receive at least 1 foot to 2 feet (30-60 centimeters) of snow. Rainfall predictions ranged up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters), with possibly higher amounts if thunderstorms develop.
Winter storm warnings were scheduled to start going into effect from the Oregon border down through the southern Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada.
Travelers were likely to face whiteout conditions, road closures and chain controls, forecasters said.
“Any Sierra driving will be treacherous after today. It would be a good idea to delay non-essential travel until conditions improve,” the Reno, Nevada, weather office wrote. “If this isn’t possible, be sure to carry chains and winter survival supplies in your vehicle.”