MENDOCINO Co., 12/8/22 — Winter weather bringing mountain snow, rain, ice, and high winds is forecast for Northern California starting today. The National Weather Service in Eureka (NWS Eureka) has issued a mix of weather advisories and warnings from the coast to inland areas, leading to the likelihood of challenging driving conditions for holiday travelers and possible power outages.
In Mendocino County, rain showers and breezy conditions are expected Thursday through Sunday, bringing possibly four inches of rain to coastal and inland regions. A wind advisory has been issued for the entire county from 10 p.m. Friday through 4 a.m. Saturday. Southerly winds are expected to reach 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 55 mph. In addition to the wind advisory, a small craft advisory starting at 9 p.m. Thursday (no end time has been issued) and a gale warning starting at 1 p.m. Friday through 4 a.m. Saturday have both been issued for Cape Mendocino to Point Arena.
High winds will also impact Humboldt and Del Norte counties and portions of Trinity County, where a high wind warning has been issued from 4 p.m. Friday through 1 a.m. Saturday. Southeast winds are expected to reach 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. Use caution if you’re traveling throughout the three counties. NWS Eureka recommends individuals stay in the lower levels of buildings and away from windows during the warning.
If you’re traveling through northern Trinity County or to the Mt. Shasta region, take extra caution. NWS Eureka has issued a winter weather advisory for areas 2,500 feet or higher starting at 10 p.m. Thursday. The advisory will escalate to a winter storm warning starting at 4 p.m. Friday through 4 a.m. Sunday. The area can expect up to 24 inches of snow and wind gusts as high as 65 mph.
Additionally, travel conditions will be severely impacted in mountainous areas of Yolo, Colusa, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, and the Sierra Nevadas, including Tahoe. Hazardous weather conditions are expected including snow and high winds.
Conditions may vary widely across North Coast microclimates, and on your travel routes, so we’ve included a list of useful resources to keep you updated at the bottom of this article. You can check for the specific forecast for your neighborhood and on current road conditions as they develop.
Prepare for the wind by securing any outdoor objects and readying yourself for possible power outages. If you’re going to travel through regions under winter weather warnings, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency and drive safely. Use extra caution when driving, especially high profile vehicles. Find tips on staying safe during high wind events here.
Mendocino Voice Winter weather resources:
- Our guide for winter weather emergency and preparedness info — we recommend you bookmark this
- Check your specific forecast at this link along with the National Weather Service advisories and warnings, as well as their Facebook page and their Twitter page
- Check the CalTrans QuickMap for current road closures or call 1-800-GAS-ROAD
- Check for current accidents at the CHP traffic update page
- Caltrans traffic cameras can be seen here, and here are the PG&E cameras
- You can also check out the Weather Underground to look for weather stations in your area
- Check the PG&E current outage map to find or report power outages
- NWS has flood stage predictions here; and you can find USGS current streamflow information here
- NWS is seeking snowfall reports, and you can submit them to this website.
- We recommend meteorologist Daniel Swain’s Weather West Blog as a good place to find more in-depth current weather analysis
The following are tips from PG&E for storm safety:
- Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it—and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 9-1-1 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
- Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should ensure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on powerlines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
- Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights and not candles, due to the risk of fire. And keep extra batteries on hand. If you must use candles, keep them away from drapes, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
- Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup. Having a portable charging device helps to keep your cell phone running.
- Have fresh drinking water and ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer during an outage to prevent foods from spoiling.
- Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.
- Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 8-1-1 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.
Sarah Stierch covers food, beverage, culture and breaking news for The Mendocino Voice. Contact Stierch at [email protected] The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.