From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Heavy snow and strong winds have rushed into California's Sierra Nevada, finally giving the area a long-overdue blast of winter.

A winter storm carrying the prospect of up to 5 feet of snow for the Northern Sierra hit late Tuesday and was expected to last well through Wednesday, putting state road crews on alert while brightening the state's water outlook heading into spring.

The Northern California storm could ease fears among the 29 agencies that depend on snowmelt delivered through the State Water Project that already are bracing for meager allocations. Some farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley have been told to expect just half of the water they requested for the spring and summer growing seasons.

The forecast calls for snow in both the Sierra and Coast mountain ranges with the biggest wallop coming above 6,500 feet, where accumulation could be between 2 and 4 feet, and up to 5 feet at the highest elevations.

For more, see: Calif. mountains could get up to 5 feet of snow