Snow on Junipero Serra

It's rare to see snow even on Junipero Serra Peak, which at 5,862 feet is the tallest in the Santa Lucia Mountains.

If you plan on traveling or spending time outdoors for the holiday weekend, you may want to bring galoshes and a parka. According to weather advisory officials, Monterey County is expected to get its first blow of winter storms this week, starting Tuesday night, Nov. 26, and continuing through Thanksgiving Day. Here’s what to expect, and where: 

All along the coastline from Watsonville to Big Sur, small craft and surf advisories warn of strong wave action peaking on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, with 10-15 foot waves, rip currents, increased beach erosion and sneaker waves. These waves can be exhilarating for the public to watch—but only from afar in a dry, safe location away from jetties, beaches, rock outcroppings and seawalls. 

For those living a bit higher up than sea level, the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that starts tonight, Tuesday, at 10pm and remains in effect until 10am Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Areas in Monterey County above 4,000 feet in the Santa Lucia Mountains and Los Padres National Forest are forecast to receive 5-8 inches of snow, and locations between 2,500-4,000 feet in elevation in the Santa Lucias and Gabilan Mountains are expected to be blanketed with 1-6 inches of snow.

Weekend hikers are advised to beware of slick, snow-covered trails and roads, low temperatures dipping into the 20s, and low visibility during the storm. 

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In urban areas around Monterey County, rain and consistent 10-20 mph winds could result in downed trees and power lines. Emergency officials advise having emergency plans for family, friends and pets for power outages during cold, wet weather. 

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