Wednesday – Friday Showers:
We have a low-pressure system spinning off of the coast Wednesday morning. That will spread some moisture northward into the northern Sierra by Wednesday evening.
We will have some clouds during the day with some scattered showers possible by Wednesday afternoon, and a chance for a period of some steadier rain showers through the evening. Then becoming more scattered into Thursday. Highs in the 40s near the base for Thursday into the weekend and 30s up top.
Snow levels are very high and may only dip to around 7500-8500 ft. at their lowest point Wednesday night. then back up to 8000-9000 ft. for Thursday into Friday with the scattered showers. We could see a coating up to a couple of inches of wet snow above 8000 ft. Wednesday night as the band of steadier precipitation moves through.
Friday Night- Saturday Rain & Snow:
The system off the coast finally moves east through CA Friday night into Saturday, and then to our east with clearing Saturday night into Sunday. As the low moves through CA, we have the best shot at some heavier rain and snow Friday night into Saturday morning.
There is not really a cold air source for this storm, so snow levels are expected to stay fairly high through Saturday. There is colder air at the center of low-pressure systems, so we could see snow levels dip near 7500-8000 ft. Friday night and down near 7000-7500 ft. Saturday before the showers clear east by Saturday night.
We could see 1-3 inches of additional snowfall Friday night into Saturday near 8000 ft. on top of the 0-2 inches Wednesday night, for a total of 1-5 inches for the upper mountain. Below 8000 ft. there could be a little snow Friday night into Saturday, but only a coating to an inch of snow is expected at best for the mid-mountain elevations, and all rain is expected at the base.
Sunday into next week, high pressure builds over the West. We will start out cool on Sunday with highs in the 40s as the skies become mostly sunny. Then mostly sunny and milder early next week with highs warming into the 50s for the lower elevations near the base.
The long-range models are still hinting at the possibility a cold front could move into the West from the north by Thanksgiving into Black Friday. The debate is really mainly if we stay dry and mild or dry and colder later next week. There would be a low chance of light snow with the front if the front tracked far enough west as it moves in from the north.
Currently, the pattern looks pretty dry through the last week of November with the long-range forecast models showing below-average precipitation continuing. The strongest part of the jet stream is not extending all the way across the Pacific into the West Coast on the long-range models through the end of November, and not helping to push storms into the West Coast.
There are some signs that the ridge could break down by the end of the month into early December. With lower heights being shown off the coast. Hopefully, that’s a sign that the jet stream is going to extend farther east as we go into December. That is what typically happens in an El Nino season. Right now there are no significant storms on the long-range model runs, but we’ll be watching closely…