Southern California Daily Snow

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By Mike Korotkin, Meteorologist Posted 1 month ago March 1, 2024

Is it Winter or is it Spring?

Summary

Stronger winds on Friday will herald in the storm for Friday night - Saturday. We'll see strong winds and heavier snowfall on Saturday into Saturday night with falling snow levels. By Sunday only a few snow showers could remain. A nice little snowstorm should deliver close to double-digit totals for some areas. Next week we could see more precip later in the week, but moisture could be limited.

Short Term Forecast

Storm Comes in Friday Night - Saturday 

Our storm is on track to come through later Friday night and last through early Sunday morning. It won't be the strongest storm, but it will have plenty of wind and colder air to drop snow levels enough so that everyone gets snow down to the bases.

Let's take a look at the disagreed precip forecasts... 

Precip Forecast 

GFS

The GFS has held steady with limited precip for most of the storm. It only shows a little over half an inch for the Mt. Baldy area. Other areas including the Big Bear region will only see about 0.30 inches of liquid, which is similar for Mtn. High. 

Euro

The Euro on the other hand is hot and heavy with way more precip coming in. It shows a large bullseye around the Snow Valley areas with over an inch of liquid there and likely even closer to 1.50 inches of liquid. the Mt. Baldy area is on the order of 1.50 inches as well. 

WPC

The WPC model definitely has the bullseye closer to Snow Valley with a decent shot of precip for Mt. Baldy in the 1.30-inch range. Mtn. High is also favored in both the Euro & WPC models. 

So basically we have very little agreement on precip between the GFS & Euro. The WPC, being a higher resolution model, it favors the higher totals. The NAM is closer to the WPC and the Canadian is actually somewhat right in the middle between the GFS & Euro. It indicates the highest snow totals in the Mt. Baldy region to Snow Valley.  

I'm seeing a trend that favors both Mt. Baldy and Snow Valley on the whole, which has at least been the case most of the week. 

Snow Levels 

Like I've discussed earlier in the week snow levels with this system will be lower on the whole. Check out the graphic below for Mountain High. 

You can see early Friday morning we still have snow levels above the base, but by early Saturday morning they drop and they continue to drop throughout the day on Saturday into Saturday night. They should bottom out a little above 5K FT before rising through the day on Sunday. 

We'll see lighter-density snow with ratios above 10:1 for Saturday late afternoon and evening. It won't be the lowest snowfall event, but at least we should only see minimal amounts of rain at the bases at the start of this storm. 

Snowfall Forecast 

If the Euro is right my forest will just be completely blown out of the water. My forecast is going to be a little higher than yesterday but overall I'm still just not expecting a big storm. 2 - 5 inches are forecasted for Bear Mtn. & Snow Summit, while 5 - 12 inches is forecasted for Mt. Baldy & Snow Valley. Mtn. High should see up to 8 inches. 

We'll start adding up snow totals tomorrow morning, but the snow will really still be falling through Saturday, so by Sunday we should get a better sense of our totals. 

Winds will be strong on Saturday so upper mtn. lifts will likely be closed. 50+ MPH gusts out of the Southwest are likely. Friday winds will be in the 30 - 40 MPH range, while Sunday winds will be in the 25 - 35 MPH range. So we will have plenty of winds over the next few days blowing the snow around and making it a challenge to be out there. 

Monday - Tuesday 

We will likely see clearer weather on both Monday & Tuesday. Temps will be in the upper 30's on the mtn. and winds should be lighter. They will be great days to get out there to enjoy the fresh snow. 

Extended Forecast

The models continue to suggest we see our large trough shift Eastward over the next week. You can see that Eastward shift on the European Ensemble mean below. 

It's position is not a super favorable one for us to see big storms, but it still brings the possibility of snowfall over the middle of next week. It will also keep our temps much cooler and keep the snow fresher for longer. 

Looking at the Ensemble runs of the Euro above you can see it shows a period of precip next Thursday into Friday, March 7th & 8th. 

The GFS Ensemble on the other hand is weaker with the current storm and the potential for precip next week. So we really have to wait and see what happens next week with any snowfall. At least the temps will be colder and we shouldn't have to deal with any snow level issues during any stormy periods. 

I'll keep you posted. 

Till the next one... Mike out. 

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About Our Forecaster

Mike Korotkin

Meteorologist

Mike graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s in Atmospheric Science and received his Masters in Atmospheric Science at the University of Nevada Reno. He grew up in Southern California by the beach, but quickly realized he loved the mountains, so his first memories were of the SoCal mountains where he saw snow for the first time. He started skiing in his 20’s and is now an avid skier and backpacker at locations up and down the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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