Winter storms expected Wednesday

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the Sierra National Forest, with snow and rain expected as low as 5,000 feet elevation by Wednesday evening.

The National Weather Service in Hanford upgraded its winter warning Tuesday afternoon, and forecast as much as 18 inches of snow above 7,000 feet.

Three to eight inches of snow are expected around 5,000 feet.

The most snowfall will take place from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, forecasters said.

In Oakhurst, the weather service predicts rain up to 4 p.m. Wednesday, followed by snow and more precipitation.

Temperatures are predicted to drop from a high of 77 Tuesday to as low as 53 by Thursday.

Wind could reach 10 to 15 miles per hour, meteorologists said, so drivers are advised to remain safe on roadways and slow down during the storm’s heaviest periods.