SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Cold, wet weather is beginning its icy grip on Northern California as an Arctic storm drops down the West Coast bringing a chance of snow to the Sacramento area and a guarantee of several feet of snow to the Sierra, according to forecasters.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning in effect from 1 p.m. this afternoon to Saturday morning. 

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It’s forecast to combine freezing temperatures with a lot of moisture and drop snow into some of the lowest elevations we’ve seen in decades, including the Valley.

The last time Sacramento saw measurable snow was on Feb. 5, 1976 when a cold storm left a dusting of about two inches.

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Photo Gallery: 1976 Sacramento Snow Images

In the Sierra, the storm is expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow at lake level and 2 to 4 feet of snow about 7,000 feet.

Officials are warning people that travel in the Sierra could become treacherous even telling people to complete their travel across the Sierra by this afternoon or postpone until Sunday.

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If you must travel, you should be prepared by carrying tire chains, food, water, blankets and flashlights in your car.