A Winter Storm Watch issued by the National Weather Service in Hanford today has weather-watchers wondering whether Tehachapi and the nearby Mojave Desert area will have a White New Year's.
According to the NWS, a storm bringing rain, snow and wind is expected to move into the area on Tuesday afternoon with a 30 percent chance of snow then, increasing to 60 percent change on Tuesday night, 50 percent chance on Wednesday and 20 percent on Wednesday night.
New Year's Day (Thursday) is expected to be clear, but cold.
The NWS warns that the snow event has the potential of shutting down major highways as well as local roads and advises that unnecessary travel should be avoided entirely.
Snow in itself is a rare event for the desert, the NWS said, and with it occurring before a holiday will just exacerbate things.
One to two inches of snow are expected on the desert floor with seven inches in the mountains.
Snow level is expected to be down to 2,000 feet elevation.
The forecast for the Tehachapi Valley for the next week is as follows:
Monday — Sunny, with a high near 47. West northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.
Monday Night — Partly cloudy, with a low around 28. West northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.
Tuesday — A 30 percent chance of snow after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 39. West wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.
Tuesday Night — Snow likely, mainly between 10pm and 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming northeast in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Wednesday — A 50 percent chance of snow, mainly before 10 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the morning. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Wednesday Night — A 20 percent chance of snow. Partly cloudy, with a low around 25. South southwest wind around 5 mph becoming east southeast in the evening.
New Year's Day — Sunny, with a high near 33. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 5 mph in the morning.
Thursday Night — Mostly clear, with a low around 27. Northwest wind around 5 mph.
Friday — Sunny, with a high near 42. West wind around 5 mph.
Friday Night — Mostly clear, with a low around 31. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light west northwest in the evening.
Saturday — Sunny, with a high near 47. Calm wind.
Saturday Night — Mostly clear, with a low around 34. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph.
Sunday — Mostly sunny, with a high near 51. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 5 mph in the morning.