Big Bear and all of Southern California is bracing for what is forecast as a powerful winter storm during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Big Bear could see up to 3 feet of snow before the storm moves out.

Heavy rain and snow are expected during the next three days according to forecaster Noel Isla from the National Weather Service San Diego office. “For rainfall we see about 2 to 4.5 inches mainly Wednesday,” Isla said. After that comes the snow, which could be as much as 1 to 3 feet above the 5,500 foot level, “which includes Big Bear,” Isla said.

The storm originated in the Gulf of Alaska and has followed the jet stream, which moved down to Southern California because of a high pressure system in the Pacific Ocean, Isla said.

The last winter storm that began with rain was the Valentine’s Day gusher that flooded Big Bear and caused significant damage before turning to snow.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning that goes into effect at 4 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, and continues to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29. Heavy snow is expected with snowfall amounts of 3 to

6 inches between 4,000 and 4,500 feet, 6 to 18 inches from 4,500 to 5,500 feet, and 1 to 3 feet above 5,500. There is the possibility of 1 to 3 inches below 4,000 feet mainly late Thursday.

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