Partly sunny with some clouds Thursday with highs in the 40s on the mountain to near 50 degrees at the base. Ridgetop winds gusting from the south up to 40+ mph.
Thursday Night – Saturday Systems:
The next storm is digging south and splitting as it moves into CA Thursday. That is delaying the onset of the precipitation as the flow turns southerly and the 1st wave moves in to our south over southern CA. Rain and snow showers may hold off until Friday morning.
Snow levels start high around 7000-8000 ft. Friday morning and then falling to 6000-7000 Friday afternoon, that will bring them close to the base but they could not reach the base until evening. We may only see a coating to an inch of snow at best by Friday on the upper mountain. Highs drop into the 30s Friday with ridgetop winds gusting up to 60+ mph from the southwest by the end of the day.
The snow showers increase Friday night as a 2nd colder system dives into the region. This sets up a much better chance for snowfall accumulation and powdery vs wet snow as snow levels plummet. Snow showers continue into Saturday morning and become more scattered into the afternoon. Highs only in the 30s at the base and 20s up top. The winds should come down some as well but could gusting from the north-northwest up to 40+ mph up top.
We should clear out Saturday night. By Saturday morning we could see an additional 3-6 inches of snow on the mountain. Scattered snow showers Saturday could bring light additional accumulations of 1-3 inches during the day. Storm total of 3-6 inches at the base and 5-10 inches on the mountain possible by Saturday evening as the storm starts to clear the region.
Sunday – Tuesday:
A drier pattern returns Sunday into the first half of next week as high pressure builds back in over CA. It starts cold Sunday with highs in the 30s at the base and 20s up top. Mostly sunny skies continue through Tuesday with highs warming into the 40s at the base and 30s up top.
The long-range models disagree on whether or not the trough over the West backs over CA again by midweek with additional systems dropping down from the north the 2nd half of next week. If not the drier pattern could continue. It looks like we may just see some colder air and stay dry through the end of next week.
The long-range forecast models also disagree on what happens by mid-month into the 3rd week of March. Some models keep high pressure over CA with the dry pattern continuing. Other models suggest a trough could form in the northeast Pacific off the West Coast by mid-month, which could allow storms to spin up off the coast and push in northern CA. We’ll continue to keep an eye on that as we get closer.