Mountain ops reported 3 inches on the lower mountain Thursday night before a change to rain, and 7 inches on the upper mountain where it stayed all snow. That brings the 4-day snowfall total to 29″ on the upper mountain.
Friday – New Year’s Eve Storm:
The rain & snow continues Friday with snow levels continuing to rise. A strong atmospheric river will be pointed at the Tahoe region Friday night into Saturday bringing very heavy rain & high elevation snow. Highs in the 30s. Ridgetop winds gusting up to 90-100+ mph at times from the southwest up top into Saturday morning which should close down several upper mountain lifts.
Snow levels are around 8000 ft. Friday morning. For reference on the snow level forecast below, the village is down near 6000 ft. and the tallest peaks are up near 9000 ft.
Snow levels may rise to around 8500-9000 ft. by midday Friday and could peak around 9000-9500 ft. Friday evening. That means we could see heavy rain on most of the mountain for a period. Then colder air starts to work in with snow levels falling slowly. Down to around 7500-8000 ft. by Saturday morning, 7000-7500 ft. by midday, 6500-7000 ft. by Saturday evening, and dropping below 5000 ft. Saturday night.
That means rain changes to snow from top to bottom through the day on Saturday and reaches the base by sometime Saturday evening. Those snow level forecasts are our best calculation based on all of the weather data we have available, but they could be slightly higher or lower at times throughout the storm. A wet and windy storm is expected until later Saturday/Saturday night when it gets colder & winds drop.
Snow showers are expected to continue Saturday night with some light snow for the base and several inches of drier snow possible on the mountain by the time the storm ends early Sunday morning. Forecasting snowfall will be very tricky with the rising and falling snow levels. Also, some of the forecast amounts will fall before a change to rain, and then some after the change back to snow.
By Sunday morning we could see new snowfall amounts of:
- 1-4 inches at the base. (higher if snow levels fall faster than forecast)
- 4-28 inches at the mid-mountain elevations. (a big range with lower amounts down lower and more the higher you go up with the fluctuating snow levels.)
- 28-35 inches up top. (above 8000 ft.)
Of note is that the forecast on our conditions page is for mid-mountain which is why it shows the lower end of the mid-mountain forecast shown above.
I’m not sure what will happen with the New Year’s Eve plans for the resort, but we should see the winds dropping and snow showers falling to the base through Saturday evening.
New Year’s Day:
We have a break between storms for Sunday (New Year’s Day). We should see mostly sunny skies by afternoon along with lighter winds. Highs into the 30s at the base and 20s up top.
More Storms Next Week:
The next storm is expected to move in Monday afternoon into Monday night. It looks like a colder and weaker system, similar to the Thursday storm, with maybe 3-6 inches of new snow on the mountain by Tuesday morning as the storm clears out.
A possible break for Tuesday the 3rd before another strong storm could bring more snow Wednesday into Thursday the 5th. The snow levels could max near the base with mainly all snow. We could see around 2-3 feet of snow with this storm, but it’s still very early to forecast snowfall amounts.
We’ll have more details on the storms next week as we get closer.
Storms could continue into the weekend of the 7th-8th, and possibly into the week of the 9th. Some forecast models start to bring in a drier pattern by the week of the 9th.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest trends as we get closer…