Monday – Tuesday Weather:
We have two more mild days with partly-mostly sunny skies for Monday and Tuesday. Highs climb into the 50s for the lower elevations.
Wednesday – Friday Storm:
The southerly flow from the splitting systems will help to delay the arrival of the showers until around midday Wednesday into the afternoon, with the steadier precipitation likely holding off until Wednesday night. We will have southerly winds increasing with ridgetop gusts up to 70-80+ mph, which will likely close some upper mountain ski lifts on Wednesday. Highs into the 40s at the base.
Wednesday night into Thursday the front will help to push steadier precipitation into the Sierra, with the heaviest precipitation likely occurring Thursday morning, and then showers later in the day could linger into Friday before clearing out Friday night. Highs in the 30s near the base, and 20s for the upper mountain, with temperatures several degrees colder on Friday. The winds look to drop for Thursday into Friday.
The forecast models have trended the storm wetter over the past 24 hours. They are also pushing in the colder air a bit faster. Snow levels still start out above 8000 ft. Wednesday afternoon, but then could fall to around 7000-7500 ft. by Wednesday evening as the steadier precipitation pushes in, and are approaching the base by early Thursday morning. Then continuing to fall through Friday.
That means we start with wet snow, have fairly dense snow for the heaviest part of the storm into Thursday, and then some powdery snow with the scattered showers Thursday night into Friday. We could see storm totals of around 5-10 inches at the base, 10-15 inches for the lower mountain, and 15-20+ inches for the upper mountain by Friday night, with around 80% of that falling by Thursday night.
Saturday still looks drier with partly-mostly sunny skies and cold. Highs only in the 20s to near 30 degrees at the base.
The latest model runs show a low-pressure system coming under the eastern Pacific ridge Saturday, and a secondary low dropping down the West Coast from the north, and that may help draw the track of the wetter system from the west a bit farther north as it moves inland by Sunday night. Therefore, the latest model runs now show snow possibly returning by Sunday afternoon into Monday.
We will continue to watch the trends all week. If the storm tracks through central CA instead of southern CA as previously forecast, we could see some heavier snow and a decent little storm into Modnay. The cold air is already in place so we could see what has become rare this season, an all-snow snowstorm.
Behind that storm, additional weak systems could drop into the trough, and overall through the 10th the ensemble mean models still show the highest precipitation anomalies to our south, with mainly chances for snow showers and weaker systems.
We’ll keep an eye out for any other storms that may want to try and surprise us like the Sunday – Monday storm is now trying to do.