Snow and wind today with gusts to 80 mph up high. We could see 1-5 inches at lake level, and 2-7 inches on the mountains by the time the snow ends this afternoon. Highs will be in the 30's. A break tonight and then more snow moves in Friday and Friday night before tapering off by Saturday morning. Winds look not as strong with gusts to 40 mph Friday dropping to 25 Saturday. We could see an additional 3-7 inches at lake level, and 3-12 inches on the mountains by Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning looks like a break with highs in the 30's and maybe a little sun. Sunday afternoon the winds may start to pick up ahead of the next storm and some light snow showers may begin to move in later in the afternoon. Sunday night a strong storm moves in and lasts into Monday night. Snow levels may rise as high as 8000 feet Monday before falling again to lake level by Monday night as colder air moves in. Heavy precip will bring heavy rain and snow through the period. Strong winds with gusts over 100 mph. By Tuesday morning we could have an additional 3-6 inches at lake level, and 6-33 inches on the mountains. Tuesday into Wednesday lighter snow showers are expected, and the winds should start to come down. The snow will continue to pile up over the 2 days with an additional 4-16 inches possible at lake level, and 4-23 inches on the mountains. The storms should clear out next Thursday. Then a colder pattern may develop by Friday into the weekend of the 25th. There could be some light snow Friday with the cold front.
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Short Term Forecast
The precip moved in around 5 a.m. this morning. The temperatures and snow levels fell very fast and it was snow below lake level by 6 a.m. The dry air looks to have helped with fast cooling of the air.
This is still a fast moving storm today with the initial band of heavy precip possibly clearing the area by 9 a.m. Then more showery precip should fill in the rest of the day and end by this evening. I did up the snow forecast slightly this morning based on the fast temp drop.
The ski resorts are all reporting no snow at 6 a.m. on the reports since they measured right as the storm was starting. But it is snowing and accumulating this morning below lake level.
Still expecting a break tonight. Then tomorrow the next storm moves in. It still looks like the heaviest precip moves in to our South. The GFS on the latest run did shift the track of the storm a bit further North and is now wetter than the other models through Friday night.
The GFS now has 1.6 inches of liquid along the crest while the European and Canadian models have only 0.6 inches. We'll have to see the trend today on the model runs. The snow showers may linger into Saturday morning before the storm ends. Snow levels look to stay below lake level for this storm. The winds look to only gust to 40 mph Friday and 25 for Saturday.
For now the snowfall forecast by Saturday morning did bump up slightly because of the GFS.
and the snow ratios...
Saturday afternoon into Sunday we should have a break but winds may start to pick up by Sunday afternoon causing some lift issues. By Sunday night as the storm moves in the winds pick up to over 100 mph.
The European model brings in light snow showers by later Sunday afternoon while the GFS holds off until Sunday night. Snow levels start below lake level, but an atmospheric river takes aim at us by Monday morning pushing in very heavy precip and warmer air.
A few days ago the AR looked like it may aim further South and keep colder air in place. This new scenario is much wetter but warmer for Monday. The GFS this morning shows snow levels rising near 8000 feet by Monday morning before falling back to 7000 feet by Monday evening, and below lake level Monday night. The heavy precip could drag the snow levels a bit lower Monday.
We could see 1-2 inches of snow at lake level Sunday night before the rain, and 1-4 inches on the mountains. Then Monday I have rain below 8k on my forecast with some snow to 7000 in the afternoon. Above that we could see 1-5 inches at 7k and 6-14 inches at 8k. Monday night snow to all elevations with 3-8 inches at lake level, and 4-16 inches on the mountains.
The AR pushes South by Tuesday with additional waves of precip into Wednesday continuing the snow showers. Snow levels drop even further as colder air moves in and snow ratios increase. The snow could pile up to 2-9 inches at lake level, and 4-14 inches on the mountains Tuesday through Tuesday night.
Here is the total added up for the updated forecast for the period.
Several more inches are possible Wednesday with the snow showers before the end and the storms move out Wednesday night.
For Oroville a foot of rain is possible over the next 7 days.
We should see a break next Thursday. Then high pressure looks like it will build in the Northeast Pacific off the coast. That may help to drive colder air down from the North next Friday into the weekend.
The GFS has a low dropping down the coast and possibly tapping moisture off the ocean for some snow Friday. The Euro is dry but shows the colder pattern.
It appears that we could see another negative EPO pattern setup starting the week of the 27th with the ridge building near the Gulf of Alaska. The question will then be will the jet stream cut under the ridge into CA as we go into March bringing heavy rain and snow like we have seen every month? Or will we just get a drier pattern?
Mt. Rose, Heavenly, Diamond Peak
Tahoe Donner, Homewood, Bear Valley, Dodge Ridge
Boreal, Donner Ski Ranch, Sugar Bowl, Squaw, Alpine, Sierra, Kirkwood
*Boreal and Donner Ski Ranch are forecast with the "West" mountains in higher snow levels events.
*The snowfall forecasts on the ski resort pages are for the upper mountains at 8000'.
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