Snow showers moved through Friday dropping 2″ on the upper mountain by evening. Then the cold system moved in Friday evening and overnight. The forecast by Saturday morning was for 2-5″ on the mountain. I had been mentioning in the forecasts that with the convective nature of this system, “it is possible to get slightly more than forecast on some mountains, but it’s hard to know which ones”.
The good news Saturday morning is that Palisades Tahoe was one of those mountains! The upper mountain picked up 7 inches of additional snowfall Friday night from the bands of convective snown that moved through, and 5 inches at the base. That brings the storm total to 5 inches at the base and 9 inches up top already, with more snow expected Saturday afternoon.
Saturday Snow Showers:
We have a lull in the snow showers Saturday morning as the center of the low crosses the Sierra. The winds will shift to the north-northeast Saturday afternoon as wrap-around moisture on the north side of the low moves north to south through the Sierra. The snow showers could last through the late afternoon before clearing Saturday night.
Highs only in the 20s on the mountain Saturday. Ridgetop winds increase into the afternoon, gusting from the north up to 50+ mph up top. That will make it feel even colder and could affect a couple of upper mountain lifts.
We could see a final 1-3 inches of additional snowfall on the mountain during the afternoon to bring the storm totals to 6-12″ for this cold storm!
Sunday – Friday:
A drier pattern returns Sunday and is expected to last through the end of the week, with mostly sunny skies expected throughout most of the period. It stays cold Sunday into Monday with highs in the 30s at the base and 20s up top. Highs warming into the 40s at the base and 30s up top starting Tuesday.
We could see gusty northeast winds up to 60+ mph up top Monday, possibly affecting a few upper mountain lifts and making it feel colder.
We may stay dry through the weekend of the 12th-13th as high pressure sits near the West Coast and over CA.
The long-range forecast models continue to suggest a trough forms in the northeast Pacific pushing into the Pacific NW by mid-month into the 3rd week of March. The northern Sierra could be on the southern edge of the storm track, which means the storms could stay just to our north, or some could dig south bringing rain & snow to the northern Sierra. We’ll continue to keep an eye on the trends as we get closer.