There are no significant changes to the forecast as of Saturday morning. The snow has started falling and will increase in intensity through the day with some heavier snow expected on the mountain by afternoon into the evening. Then diminishing later Saturday night and clearing out Sunday morning.
Ridgetop winds are only gusting up to 60+ mph from the west early this morning but will increase through the day with gusts up to 90-100+ mph over exposed ridges by afternoon. That will close some upper mountain lifts. Highs in the 30s for the lower elevations and 20s for the peaks.
The storm is tapping some warmer subtropical moisture. Snow levels are starting low with colder air in place ahead of the storm. We should start with snow down to the base (~6000′) with snow levels below 6000 ft. Then snow levels look to rise to around 6200-6800 ft. Saturday afternoon into the evening before falling back near 6000 ft. by the end.
That makes for a tricky snowfall forecast near the base. If we see all snow the snowfall amounts could be higher than my forecast. We could also see rain up to 6500’+. We could see storm totals by Sunday morning of around 2-9 inches from the base up to 7k’ depending on snow levels, and 9-17 inches on the mountain above 7000 ft.
Sunday – Tuesday:
Clearing for Sunday with the winds dropping. Partly sunny skies with highs into the 30s for the lower elevations and 20s for the upper elevations.
Monday into Tuesday high pressure strengthens over CA. We should see mostly sunny skies on Monday and at least to start on Tuesday. Highs into the 40s for the lower elevations and 30s for the upper elevations.
Tuesday night into Wednesday the ridge looks to weaken a bit and a storm moves through the Pacific NW. The latest model runs are in better agreement that we will get brushed with some lighter precipitation amounts.
We could see some gusty winds and highs in the 30s for Wednesday. The winds don’t look overly strong and they could diminish through the afternoon. The latest model runs show only light amounts of precipitation reaching the Tahoe basin of 3-tenths of an inch or less.
We’ll continue to watch the trends on how much precipitation could reach the Sierra. This is a warmer storm with snow levels likely starting above 8000 ft. and falling to near 7000 ft. by the end of the storm. That means likely 0-3 inches of snow above 7000 ft. I’ll do a more detailed forecast if it looks like we could get more than that.
Thursday – Friday:
High pressure is forecast to strengthen behind the storm through Friday. That should bring back mostly sunny days with highs into the 40s.
The long-range models continue to show a pattern shift for a few days starting next weekend around the 20th through about the 23rd, with an extension of a stronger linear Pacific jet stream near the West Coast and lower heights to the north side with storms spinning up in the north Pacific and moving into the West Coast.
We’ll continue to watch the trends on that all week.