As expected, we saw an inch of snowfall on the upper mountain Wednesday night, and dusting on the lower mountain.
Thursday – Friday:
We should see some clouds on both days with partly sunny skies and highs warming into the 40s. Lighter winds for Thursday and then increasing south winds and clouds Friday afternoon ahead of the next system. Ridgetop gusts up to 40-50+ mph.
Friday Night – Saturday Storm:
No changes with the forecast for the next system moving into CA. The system is still expected to weaken as it moves inland, and will struggle to push heavier precipitation over the crest with the southerly flow. The latest model runs show rain and snow showers reaching the crest Friday evening and then slowly pushing east through the Sierra.
The snow levels will be lower with this system. They could start up around 7000-7500 ft. Friday evening, but are expected to drop near the base overnight into Saturday, sitting around 5500-6500 ft. for most of the storm. That makes a base forecast a little tricky.
My updated snowfall forecast hasn’t changed much for totals through Saturday. We could see 1-3 inches of snow near the base and 2-5 inches up on the mountain.
The latest model runs continue to drop the next system south off the coast New Year’s Day. That would mean a drier pattern Sunday through at least Tuesday. We could see partly sunny skies each day with highs into the 30s.
The latest model runs still show another system dropping down the coast next Wed-Thu the 3rd-4th. We’ll continue to watch the trends as some models miss us and others brush us with some snow.
Then we could see ridging again by the 5th with drier weather.
The long-range models still show a large trough digging into the West Coast by the 7th-8th. That could open the door to another storm dropping in around the 6th-7th. But anything showing up on the latest model runs looks pretty weak.
The pattern looks to continue to be fairly progressive with that trough moving through and to our east by the 9th with ridging building near the West Coast through the 2nd week of January. The trough digging in by the 7th and us staying on the western edge should at least bring us colder temperatures for the 2nd week of January. If we see any storms in that pattern they would likely be moisture-starved inside sliders.
Overall the trend of weak systems looks to continue this weekend through the first week of January, but with colder storms, and then we could be drier the 2nd week of January. The 2-week precipitation forecasts show below-average precipitation and unfortunately, so do the 4-week forecasts through the end of January.
It does feel like the long-range models have been dangling a little hope in our faces two weeks out that fades away most of the season so far. That’s why we don’t put much stock in them. Let’s hope the dry pattern that they are showing for the long-range flips to a wetter pattern, the reverse of the season so far.