The winds are increasing early Tuesday morning and precipitation is approaching the northern Sierra. Scattered snow showers will spread in through the morning. Ridgetop winds will increase from the west with gusts up to 90-100+ mph by afternoon, closing some of the upper mountain ski lifts. Highs in the 30s for the near the base and 20s for the upper mountain.
This system doesn’t have much moisture. We could see 1-3 inches of new snow by early Wednesday morning.
The next system moves through Wednesday into Wednesday night, with snow showers Wednesday morning becoming heavier through the afternoon and evening. Then tapering off overnight and clearing out by Thursday morning.
This system will bring in even colder air with highs only in the 20s. Ridgetop winds will remain strong with gusts up to 90-100+ mph, continuing to keep some upper mountain lifts closed. The latest model runs have slowed the exit of the heaviest precipitation through Wednesday evening, with the heavier snow sticking around a bit longer, and therefore the precipitation forecasts have increased a bit again this morning.
This is a cold storm which is going to help fluff the snowfall totals, but the powdery snow will be blowing around and drifting in the strong winds. We could see an additional 11-20 inches of snow from bottom to top by Thursday morning, for 2-day storm totals of around 12-17 inches at the base and 14-23 inches on the mountain!
Thursday – Friday:
Mostly sunny and cold for Thursday behind the storm, with the winds finally dropping off. Highs only in the 20s. It should be the best day of the season so far with a bluebird powder day!
Friday we could see partly sunny skies with some clouds increasing ahead of the next storm. Highs into the 30s down near the base and 20s on the mountain. Ridgetop winds from the west increasing to 60-70+ mph over exposed ridges, so there could be a few upper mountain lift issues by afternoon.
The forecast models are back to being all over the place with the track of the next storm. Some are taking a drier track to our north while others bring us heavy snow later Friday night through Saturday night. For now, we’ll continue to take the middle-of-the-road average.
We could see snow move back sometime Friday night, most likely after midnight into Saturday morning, with heavier snow possible Saturday and snow showers into Saturday night before clearing Sunday morning. Ridgetop winds increasing to 80-90+ mph likely closing some upper mountain lifts again on Saturday.
Highs into the low 30s near lake level Saturday and 20s for the upper mountains. That’s a warmer storm with lower snow ratios, but it looks to stay all snow to the base. The latest model runs show between 4 inches and 4 feet falling on the mountain, ha! The rest of the models show around 6-12 inches by Sunday morning.
I’ll take the average and go with 6-11 inches of snow near the base and 8-15 inches on teh mountain by Sunday morning. Then we can watch the trends over the next few days to see of the drier or wetter model runs have any merit.
Sunday – Monday:
To finish out the MLK weekend we should see mostly sunny skies behind the storm with highs into the 30s. The winds finally drop and it should be a really nice finish to the long weekend!
The long-range models continue to show high-pressure building in over the West Coast into next week. The drier pattern that sets in Sunday should continue through at least next Tuesday the 16th.
Some forecast models show a strong ridge that blocks storms through the end of next week with well below-average precipitation through the 19th. Others show a possible storm moving through around Wed-Thu the 17th-18th.
We’ll keep an eye on the trends for the middle of next week to see if we stay in the drier pattern or if a storm will push in.