The national weather service predicts up to a quarter-inch of rain may fall this first wave of the storm.
Forecasters say between 5 to 10 inches of snow are expected at elevations above 5,000 feet. The next wave which is expected to arrive Sunday, is also expected to be much stronger, with heavier rain and snow totals predicted.
Several smaller mountain passes – including Ebbetts, Monitor and Sonora – have closed ahead of the storm. Dry weather will return Friday into Saturday, but temperatures are also expected to dip below freezing in some valley spots overnight. Gusts could increase to 25 mph Wednesday, but winds are forecast to be calm during Thursday’s snowfall. Drivers heading through the Sierra should carry chains.