After a sunny and pleasant day on Saturday we'll see much more snowy conditions on Sunday through Wednesday. A series of 2 moderate storms will come through and by Wednesday we'll be measuring in the double digits for snowfall. We could see a quick break next Thursday before another weak system comes through on Friday. The pattern of weaker systems is possible going into the last week of March.
Short Term Forecast
Saturday will be our last nice day till potentially this next Thursday. Temps will be in the low 30's at the base and there should be plenty of sun shine to get those spring turns in. Winds will be on the lighter side.
Sunday through Monday Snow Showers
The models, in typical fashion have been changing the details of our systems for this coming week. Spring time is an especially hard time for forecasting accurate storms. The models are trying to adjust to the changing of temperature gradients between the ocean and landmasses, along with the overall effect of a higher angle sun on the flow of winds across the continents.
All of this creates generally low forecast accuracy more than a couple days out. So... with that in mind I'm going to be adjusting quite a bit about our forecast for the next few days.
Instead of Sunday featuring a weak system it may instead now be a bit stronger with more snowfall that initially expected. Temps will be in the low 30's and winds will be getting very gusty out of the Southwest up to 60 MPH.
The snow could start falling heavier by Sunday morning and continue with out much of a break till Wednesday morning. This first storm system is actually going to stick around longer than initially expected and the 2nd system will be delayed until early Tuesday morning instead now.
So Monday will also now feature snowfall and lower temps in the upper 20's along with winds out of the West Southwest up to 40 MPH.
The total precip for this system could be around 1 inch of liquid. Snow ratios could range in the 9 - 12:1 range. My snowfall forecast is now Sunday through Monday, so the total snow that falls by Tuesday morning. For Main Lodge that will be around 9 - 14 inches, and the summit up to 16 inches.
Tuesday & Wednesday Storm
The track and orientation of this system has really shifted over the last 24 hours. This will affect the total precip we may receive from this system and the amount that orographic lift will play in delivering us our heaviest snowfall.
The temps are still forecasted to be much colder with this system than the last several. Highs in the 20's for both Tuesday and Wednesday with teens up on the summit will deliver snowfall ratios above 10:1. The average is around 13:1 for Main Lodge.
The winds will be out of the South on Tuesday which is the main change for this system. That is not a favorable direction for us orographically and will limit the amount of moisture that makes it to us. The track of this system will be favoring the the deep Southern Sierra & SoCal.
The South winds are not expected to be as strong as the winds on Sunday so only 30 - 40 MPH gusts are expected. By Wednesday gusts may only be up to 40 MPH out of the West Southwest. Snow showers will decrease in intensity by Wednesday morning with peaks of sun likely by the end of the day. The heaviest snow will be on Tuesday during the day with snow showers through early Wednesday morning.
Total precip amounts are actually very similar to the Sunday into Monday system with about 1 inch of liquid. My snowfall forecast is exactly the same as for the first system with 9 - 14 inches for Main Lodge and upwards of 16 inches for the summit.
I would imagine that most are actually very okay with a lower snowfall forecast as the snow has been relentless this winter and damage is showing to not only the buildings but to the overall strength of will of many. We'll get through this... I do believe we'll start seeing generally weaker systems as we go into April.
The models still show a weak system coming through Thursday night into Friday. This could drop a few inches of snow but is not likely to be a big system by any means.
Another system is looking possible for Monday, March 27th. This one shows more potential but because this is far out of the 5 day window there's a lot of changes that could take place with this system. We are getting into the time of year where the models just struggle with the track and timing of systems.
For now we have a few systems that will bringing nice colder snow.
Till the next one... Mike out.