- Mostly sunny skies expected through Friday. Highs in the 40s for the upper elevations and 50s at lake level through Tuesday, warming into the 50s on the mountains to near 60 at lake level Wed - Fri. Lows in the 20s with inversions possible through the week. - Saturday we may see increasing clouds and wind as a system moves in from the north that could bring some snow showers to the mountains by evening. Cooler on Saturday with highs in the 40s on the mountains. The snow showers could linger into Sunday morning before the system departs. Colder Sunday with highs only in the 30s on the mountains. The latest model runs show 1-3 inches of snow for the mountains. - Next week the forecast models differ on whether weak systems could continue through the week, or if we start dry with systems later in the week. Either way, it looks like the pattern could become more active by later next week into the 2nd week of March.
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Short Term Forecast
Not much change to the forecast this morning. Still waiting out this prolonged dry spell that will last at least through the end of this week. It's been 3 weeks since the last measurable snowfall as of this morning.
High pressure near the coast shifts over the West through the end of the week.
Highs in the 40s in the upper elevations and 50s at lake level with plenty of sunshine, and warming into the 50s on the mountains to near 60 at lake level the 2nd half of the week.
The Weekend System:
We are still tracking a weak system for this upcoming weekend that could bring light amounts of precipitation and possibly some measurable snowfall to the mountains. The ridge shifts east and a trough digs into the West Saturday into Sunday.
Saturday may see increasing clouds and wind as the cold front approaches from the north. The latest model runs show showers possibly popping up over the mountains by late Saturday afternoon/evening. Then light snow possible Saturday night into Sunday morning.
It will be slightly colder Saturday with highs in the 40s on the mountains and snow levels around 7,000 ft. by Saturday evening when the first showers could pop up. Then falling to around 5,000 ft. by Sunday morning before the precip ends and we start to clear later in the day.
We still have several days to track the timing and precipitation amounts and come up with a more details snowfall forecast if the storm stays on track. The latest model runs this morning are in decent agreement on 1-3 tenths of an inch of total precip possible, translating to 1-3 inches of snow possible on the mountains through Sunday morning
We will have to see if this system holds, trends wetter, or trends drier through the week like the last several weekend systems have. It will be colder for Sunday behind the system with highs in the 30s on the mountains to near 40 at lake level.
The GFS ensemble mean model run shows high pressure off the coast nosing into the West Coast to start next week.
The Canadian and European models have high pressure near the coast as well, but the European model has the next weak system moving down from the north into CA next Tuesday and the Canadian model by next Wednesday. That is a more active trend in the pattern than what they were showing.
I've been going with the GFS model which shows a drier start next week, and then the ridge shifting NW away from the West Coast as we go through the week. That would open up the pattern to a better shot at weak systems tracking south into CA later next week.
The long-range models are still in good agreement that the ridge shifts NW by the end of next week with a trough over the West.
With that pattern holding into the week of the 9th, possibly opening up a bit better for storms to track south into CA.
If you are running the GFS model you probably see increased storm activity tracking towards CA by the end of next week into the week of the 9th. We are too far out to look at storms, just at the pattern that could develop during the 1st week of March into the 2nd week that could be more favorable for storms into CA. We need to see storms spin up in the trough and track south into CA. Having a trough is a better pattern but we need good storms to develop that can push into the West Coast.
We have been watching for this shift in the pattern the 1st week of March for weeks now, as our next hope for any measurable snowfall. If the forecast continues to hold we could see weak systems start to push into CA by the middle to end of next week, with a better chance for wetter systems possibly pushing in the 2nd week of March.
Here is a look at 20 of the GFS ensemble member models for total precipitation over the next 2 weeks. They all show precipitation for CA, but some show light amounts, some moderate amounts, and some heavy amounts.
The shift in the pattern to a -PNA pattern and Western trough is step 1. Step 2 is to get the pattern into the 1-week window and to see if any decent storms will spin up and head towards CA. So we continue to wait as we go through another week of dry weather. Hopefully this time next week we had some light snowfall numbers to report as well as tracking more storms headed our way.
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