- A cold system working down the coast Friday will continue the snow and falling snow levels. Another wave dropping in Saturday will keep the snow showers going, and a final wave Sunday will bring a final round of snow showers. Snow levels around 2,000-3,000 feet over the weekend. We could see 1.5 - 3+ feet of powdery snow on the mountains Friday-Sunday, and 1-2+ feet at lake level. - The week of the 18th we may transition into a cold but drier pattern, with inside slider type systems possibly brushing us with light snow Wednesday night into Thursday, and again Saturday night into Sunday. - The week of the 25th we could transition into a drier and milder pattern.
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Short Term Forecast
Update 10 AM:
Live update from the office this morning. It's been a week since I've been able to do any videos due to illness. It's looking good out there!
Also, CHP posted this video from Donner Summit this morning. Why is the road closed? haha
Original Post from 7 AM:
Snowfall So Far:
As expected the snow levels crashed on Thursday and heavy powdery snow fell overnight. Some ski resorts are reporting up to 3 feet of snow in the past 24 hours, for the 3rd time in 2 weeks! It looks close to 3 feet to me on the deck at Sierra this morning.
The front moving through during the early morning hours set up some very heavy snow bands early this morning. Here is a shot of another heavy cell over Truckee around 4 AM.
Northstar was right under that band as well so I checked out the snow stake came this morning. It looks like they cleared about 30 inches off the stake from the last 2 days around 5 PM last night. Then another 20 inches of snow piled up quickly during the early morning hours this morning.
The 24-hour forecast was for 20-35 inches of additional snowfall on the mountains. Depending on where the heaviest snow bands hit we have reports of 17-38 inches in the past 24-hours.
That brings the storm totals to around 2-4 feet so far on the upper mountains. One of the reasons for lower amounts from Kirkwood down to Dodge Ridge is likely because the heaviest snow with the front this morning didn't move over them until after the 5 a.m. measurements. So they may have the over tomorrow morning.
So we are still on track for the 4-7 feet forecast for this storm series back at the beginning of the week. I only saw one comment yesterday about the storm being a bust. I think everyone is learning patience after the last 2 multi-day storms.
On the table above, I changed the orange column to the 2016-17 season amounts instead of last year since we were blowing away last year. That season we saw 163% of average snowfall by the end of the season. We are currently at 88% of the seasonal averages as a whole.
For the keep me honest report, you can see the 3 southern mountains I mentioned coming in under as of 5 a.m. as well as Squaw a little low for some reason, and Homewood over, but most came in on forecast the past 24-hours.
The Cold Storm Continues:
The front with the heavy band of snow early this morning has moved through the area. Moderate to heavy bands of snow will continue to form today over the mountains as a moist flow and very cold unstable air continue to flow over the mountains.
The snow showers should become much lighter Friday night. The winds are still gusting over 90 mph on the ridges this morning closing upper mountain lifts. Also blowing the very powdery snow around causing low visibility at times and keeping I-80 closed this morning. The winds should come down a little but still gusting to 70+ mph this afternoon likely still affecting some upper mountain lifts. We could see another 1-2 feet of powdery snow by Saturday morning!
On the satellite image above you can see the low-pressure center spinning off the coast. That moves into Northern CA Saturday, which should increase the snow showers again with some moderate intensity bands setting up again. The winds could continue to gust to 60+ mph on the mountain tops affecting some upper mountain lifts. Then lighter more scattered snow showers for Saturday night. We could see an additional 4-12 inches of powdery snow by Sunday morning!
Then for Sunday a final weak wave moving through could keep scattered snow showers going. We could also see a few peeks of sun. The winds should finally come down making Sunday likely the best skiing of the weekend. It stays very cold with highs only in the 20's through the weekend. We could see a final 2-5 inches of snow on Sunday. Snow:water ratios of 15-20:1 through the weekend bringing fluffy powdery snow! What a month so far for powdery snow!
Here is the forecast for the cold half of this 6-day storm for additional snowfall possible Friday-Sunday. In general another 1.5 - 3+ feet snow possible on the mountains on top of the 2-4 feet so far, and another 1-2+ feet at lake level possible by Sunday evening when the storm clears out.
It is up a few inches from yesterday as the forecast models are in decent agreement on 2-2.5 inches of additional total precip near the crest.
We stay in a cold pattern through next week with the cold trough remaining over the Western U.S.
High temperatures will remain in the 20's and overnight lows in the teens and single digits. That will keep the snow soft all week. The trough is not quite as far off the West Coast starting Monday through next week. That means the storms dropping into the trough will come down over land with less moisture than the cold storms have had the last 2 weeks.
Expecting Sunny skies Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday. But we could see a system from the north Wednesday night into Thursday and again next Saturday night into Sunday that could brush us with light snow.
The long-range models still show a ridge of high-pressure building in over the West Coast the week of the 25th. That could bring at least a brief dry spell and some milder temperatures. Might be a nice break after all the cold and snow the previous 3 weeks.
Of interest on the latest runs is the suggestion of that low to the south of the ridge off the coast the first week of March. It starts as a Rex Block pattern, but some model runs eventually start to stream moisture under the ridge into CA. That's way out in fantasy range so just an observation.
I saw this link yesterday that talks about how the MJO has likely been controlling the CA weather pattern so far this season. I thought some of you might be interested since your always asking about the MJO. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-el-nino-arrival-20190214-story.html
If you are traveling through the Sierra please use the links below for travel advisories as we do not give our opinions for the "safest" travel times for liability reasons. You can also follow our I-80 Daily Snow forecast as well.
NWS Reno: https://www.weather.gov/rev/
NWS Sacramento: https://www.weather.gov/sto/
CA road conditions: http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-b... (and 1-800-427-7623)
NV road conditions: https://nvroads.com/
OSS weather share: http://oss.weathershare.org/#
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