Increasing clouds and winds for Tuesday with highs in the 30s. Ridgetop winds from the southwest with gusts increasing to 40-50+ mph by afternoon as the next storm starts to move into CA.
Tuesday Night – Wednesday Snow:
We finally have a storm that is trending wetter and snowier as it gets close! The latest model runs are in decent agreement that snow reaches the mountain between 6-8 PM. The trend toward more of a southwest flow with the southern half of the splitting storm continues, which continues to increase the precipitation forecasts.
This is a fast-moving system with most of the precipitation expected to fall by Wednesday morning, and then just scattered showers for Wednesday before clearing out. The storm has been trending colder on the latest model runs as well with the better flow. The snow levels could start near the base in the 6000-6500 ft. range Tuesday evening, but then quickly fall below 6000 ft. and down near 4000 ft. by early Wednesday.
With the increase in the precipitation forecasts and decrease in the snow level forecasts, which increases the snow ratios, the snowfall forecast has increased this morning for my final forecast for the storm. We could see 4-8 inches of snow at the base and 5-12 inches on the mountain by Wednesday night, with the highest amounts up top.
The winds will come down some on Wednesday and could be gusting up to 20-30+ mph over the ridgetops from the WNW. Highs only in the 20s on the mountain to near freezing down at the base. The snow cover is still thin for this time of year, but on the ski trails and deeper snow cover on the upper mountain it could turn out to be a decent little powder day on Wednesday.
Thursday – Friday:
We will clear out for Thursday with mostly sunny skies expected, along with lighter winds and highs into the 30s.
The weak Friday system has trended back toward falling apart by the time it reaches the Sierra. We could see some clouds and a stray snow shower. We could also see the ridgetop winds increase briefly during the morning with gusts up to 40-50+ mph, and then falling through the afternoon. Highs in the 30s.
This storm is dropping down the east side of the high-pressure ridge building in the eastern Pacific. If the track is closer to the coast it could pull in more moisture, and if it is inland mainly over land it may not pull in much moisture at all. The latest forecast model runs continue to show a BIG range of solutions for snowfall from as low as 6 inches up to 2 feet.
The latest model runs show scattered snow showers moving in Saturday morning with some steadier snow through the afternoon, and then snow showers through Saturday night that clear out Sunday morning. Ridgetop winds increasing with gusts up to 70-80+ mph from the west, so expect some upper mountain lift closures.
This is a cold storm and is trending even colder. Highs will only be in the 20s down to the base. Snow levels could start around 4000-4500 ft. Saturday morning and then falling below 4000 ft. through the day, and possibly down below 1000 ft. by the end early Sunday morning! That means high snow:liquid ratios that could average close to 19:1 near 8000 ft. for the storm.
Based on the latest model averages, we could see 8-13 inches of new snow at the base and 10-16 inches on the mountain by Sunday morning. I’d lean toward the low end until we get a clearer picture of the track of the storm and how much moisture it could draw in.
Sunday – Tuesday:
Behind the Saturday storm, we are expecting a drier pattern Sunday into Tuesday. Highs only in the 20s Sunday and then 20s for the mountain and low 30s for the base Monday-Tuesday. We could see partly mostly sunny skies each day with lighter winds through Monday. Tuesday we could see gusty winds by afternoon ahead of the next storm.
The next storm may also drop down into the west side of the trough over land not being able to draw in as much moisture, with a weaker but cold storm for Wednesday the 10th.
The thing with cold storms like this from the north is that a slightly jog west in the track and they can tap into Pacific moisture and with the cold air and high snow ratios, they can bring decent snowfall, which is why you have to watch the trends closely.