We saw 14 inches of new snow fall on the upper mountain on Wednesday, bringing the two-day storm total to 17 inches!
Thursday – Friday:
We have a drier but cold day for Thursday with mostly sunny skies, lighter winds, and highs in the 20s. Friday we should see cold temperatures again with partly sunny skies. Winds and clouds increase through the afternoon ahead of the next storm with west winds gusting up to 60-70+ mph over the ridges by afternoon.
The next storm is expected to start spreading snow showers in over the northern Sierra later Friday evening through midnight. Snow increases into Saturday morning, with heavier snow expected for Saturday into Saturday evening before diminishing later Saturday night, and clearing out Sunday morning.
Saturday will be a stormy day with strong winds and some closed upper mountain lifts. Ridgetop winds from the west gusting up to 100+ mph over the exposed ridgetops. Highs in the 20s for the upper elevations and 30s for the lower elevations.
The storm is warmer than the last one, but it looks slightly colder than the models were showing yesterday. Snow levels should start low Friday night, down around 4000-5000 ft. But then warmer air works into the storm on Saturday with snow levels rising to around 6300-6800 ft. by afternoon, and then falling below 5000 ft. by the end later Saturday night.
That means rain could mix in near the base for a time on Saturday. By Sunday morning, we could have storm totals of around 7-12 inches at the base and 14-19 inches on the mountain.
Sunday – Monday:
For the remainder of MLK weekend, we should see mostly sunny skies, lighter winds, and highs into the 30s.
High pressure is forecast to remain over CA through the end of next week (the 19th). Depending on how strong the ridge is, we could remain dry as the GFS model shows, we could get brushed with a few showers from a storm moving through to our north on Wednesday as the European model shows, or if the ridge is weaker as the Canadian model shows, a wetter storm could move through.
The forecast models continue to be out of sync a week+ out, which they have been doing most of the season creating headaches for forecasters. We’ll continue to watch the trends. If we don’t see a storm we could see partly-mostly sunny skies each day, with highs approaching 40 degrees for the lower elevations by midweek.
The long-range models continue to show troughing in the Pacific pushing into the West Coast by the 20th. That could open the storm door a bit. We’ll continue to watch the trends on that as well.