Before the first storm arrives, we have another nice day for Tuesday with partly sunny skies and highs into the 40s.
We should be dry for most of the day on Wednesday, with showers reaching the mountain between 2-4 PM. The winds will increase with ridgetop gusts up to 60-70+ mph from the southwest by afternoon. Highs into the 40s.
The latest model runs continue to trend this system drier as it falls apart by the time it reaches the northern Sierra. We may just have one quick shot of steadier showers at best on Wednesday evening and then tapering off behind that Wednesday night.
As the trends weaker continue there are fewer ways for any colder air to work into the storm. Snow levels may sit around 7500-8000 ft. through most of the storm, with just rain showers down to the base. A dusting to an inch of snow above 7500 ft. is the forecast, with up to 2 inches on the high-end for the tallest peaks.
Partly sunny skies and lighter winds are expected for Thursday. Highs back into the 40s for the lower elevations near the base, and 30s for the upper elevations.
Friday Night – Saturday Storm:
Friday we could see partly sunny skies with clouds increasing later in the day. Highs are still in the 40s for the lower elevations and 30s for the higher elevations. The next system looks to have a bit more forcing and digs farther south and elongates as it moves into CA, but also takes on a bit of a negative tilt.
We could see showers push in between Friday evening and early Saturday morning, and the storm should clear out by Saturday evening. We could see gusty winds again up along the ridges. Highs drop into the 30s.
Snow levels look to start up around 8000 ft. Friday evening and could fall close to the base, around 6000-6500 ft. by Saturday morning if the heavier precipitation pushes over the crest, and staying near the base through the end of the storm Saturday evening.
We could see around 1-3 inches of snow at the base by Saturday night, and 2-6 inches on the mountain.
New Year’s Eve – Day:
The latest model runs continue to show a drier pattern for Sunday with partly sunny skies and highs into the 30s.
A few models still show the chance for a weak system to bring a few snow showers on New Year’s Day, while the others are dry. We’ll keep an eye on that, but it may just be ambiance snow.
The first week of January, the long-range models still show the western ridge shifting northwest with troughing underneath through the southwest. That would keep the storm door open for CA into the southwest. The jet stream is forecast to be farther south near the Baja of CA into the southwest, which may draw lows farther south.
The GFS and Canadian models show the storm track to our south which could make sense, with only weaker systems or light precipitation brushing the northern Sierra on most runs. The European model has been pretty consistent with the storm for the 3rd-4th tracking farther north through northern CA.
The European model has been kicking butt with a lot of storm forecasts this season, including being the driest model all week for the Wednesday system. So we will keep a close eye on this storm to see if it will drop down the coast or track inland farther north. The latest European model run shows a nice little snowstorm.