Winter Storm Set to Dump Eight Feet of Snow on Northern California and Bring Rain and 65mph Winds to Other Parts of the State

Snow being cleared along a street in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., during heavy snowfall on Thursday. A second, much stronger winter storm arrived in the Sierra Nevada on Sunday. (Dakota Snider / Associated Press)

A major winter storm ramped up Sunday with snow in Northern California that forced drivers to wrap their tires in chains and light rain in the lower elevations.

The storm promises to drop up to 8 feet of snow on the highest peaks and drench other parts of California. It’s expected to intensify overnight into Monday and bring strong winds that could lead to power outages, forecasters said.

Winds throughout the state could reach speeds of 65 mph, according to the National Weather Service. As much as 2-4 inches of rain is possible with totals as high as 4-7.5 inches for areas like Grass Valley.

‘This is a pretty widespread event,’ said NWS meteorologist Anna Wanless in Sacramento.

‘Most of California, if not all, will see some sort of rain and snow.’

The precipitation will bring at least temporary relief to the broader region that’s been gripped by drought for more than 20 years because of climate change.

The latest U.S. drought monitor shows parts of Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah in exceptional drought, which is the worst category.

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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Christina Coulter