Party-Mostly sunny skies are expected for Tuesday. Highs into the 30s on the mountain to near 40 degrees at the base. Southwest winds with gusts up to 60+ mph up top. Increasing clouds by evening as the next storm approaches.
Tuesday Evening – Wednesday Night:
Around 7-10 PM Tuesday evening we should see rain and snow showers start to move in. We have a warmer period Tuesday night through Wednesday night, and possibly into Thursday morning. Snow levels around 6500-7000 ft. Tuesday night with maybe 1-4 inches of wet snow above that on the by mountain by Wednesday morning.
The gusty winds continue up top with gusts to 90+ mph from the southwest Wednesday, likely affecting some upper mountain lift operations. Snow levels continue to rise Wednesday and could peak around 7200-7700 ft. and could stay above 6700-7300 ft. Wednesday night.
The precipitation intensity picks up Wednesday into Wednesday night. Heavy wet snow is expected to pile up on the mountain above 7000-7500 ft. We could see 8-16 inches of new on the upper mountain by Thursday morning, with just rain expected at the base and part of the lower mountain, with a mix in the middle with a few inches of snow possible above 6500-7000 ft.
Thursday – Friday:
We won’t see a break between the warmer storm leaving Wednesday night and the colder storm moving in Thursday through Thursday night. The gusty winds continue with mountain top gusts continuing to be up to 100+ mph likely closing some upper mountain lifts Thursday. Highs dropping into the 20s on the upper mountain. The snow levels look to drop below the base sometime Thursday afternoon/evening.
The snow could be heavy at times through Friday morning. Then things may wind down for a little while Friday afternoon and possibly into Friday night with just lighter or scattered snow showers possible. Snow levels crash Friday below 4000 ft. by Friday evening which means cold powdery snow starts falling on the mountain. Highs drop into the 20s at the base Friday and teens up top.
Mountaintop gusts could continue to be up to 80+ mph Friday morning but could come down into the 60-70 mph range into the afternoon. That could allow some closed upper mountain lifts to open. By early Saturday morning, we could see 18-24 inches of new snow at the base and 2-4 feet of additional snowfall on the mountain.
Saturday through Sunday night another cold storm moves through slowly and should continue to bring snow to the mountain through the upcoming holiday weekend. The only bad news is that gusty winds could continue up top. Ridgetop gusts up of up to 80+ mph continue.
The snow could be steady with little break Saturday through Sunday night with snow levels staying below 4000 ft., that’s over 2000 ft. below the base. Highs in the 20s through the weekend. That will mean the snow that falls will continue to be powdery and will pile up more easily with the cold fluff factor from the high snow ratios.
We could see an additional 1-2 feet of snow at the base and 1.5 – 2.5 feet on the mountain. A week from now there should be plenty of snow on the mountain if the forecasts pan out as they currently look. In total up to 4-8 feet of new snow is possible on the mountain by Monday.
The storm door looks to stay open, with another storm possible for Monday into next Tuesday the 28th. The storms could continue through the end of the month.
More details on each as we get closer…
HELPFUL TRAVEL LINKS
Please be advised that chain controls, road closures, poor visibility, and extreme delays will likely be a part of this week’s travel. Please know before you go, and use your best judgment in deciding when to travel.
SAVE THESE LINKS & USE THEM TO PLAN YOUR TRAVEL DAY.
- For the most in-depth, detailed forecast, visit the NOAA Weather forecast for Olympic Valley. Adjust the location according to your route.
- To view highway webcams, closure, chain control, and incident information in California, use the Caltrans Quickmap Website & App
- To view highway webcams, closure, chain control, and incident information in Nevada, use the NV Roads 511 Website & App
- To check the status of California highway closures, use Caltrans Highway Status
- For local information, check the CHP – Truckee Facebook Page. They are an active, responsive, and informative resource.
WINTER DRIVING CONDITIONS IN THE SIERRA CAN CHANGE RAPIDLY, LEADING TO WHITEOUTS, ACCIDENTS, AND TRAFFIC DELAYS.
If you simply must travel for the holidays, here are some things to remember.
- Have extra water, food, and warm clothing in the car with you. Be prepared to be waiting for long periods of time.
- Carry chains and know how to use them.
- Do not leave the area without a full tank of gas.
- Become familiar with this list of Winter Driving Tips.