We have been watching a possible pattern change for the mid-month for over a week now. In the heart of Winter, we wait until storms are within the 5-day window to talk about snowfall details. The forecast models struggle a bit more this time of year. Today the first storm is within the 5-day window so we will look at it a little closer, but the details could change over the next few days as we get closer.
We have had high pressure dominating our weather pattern for the last few days. We have blue skies again for Sunday into Monday with highs climbing into the 70's at lake level and 60's for the upper elevations.
The first system approaches the coast Tuesday but splits apart. We will see some breezy winds on the mountains with temperatures cooling a little. Highs in the 50's in the upper elevations and 60's at lake level. That is just the start as the high-pressure ridge slides east and a trough digs into the West Coast later in the week into next weekend.
Thursday Snow Possible:
The next system moves in Wednesday night into Thursday. This storm doesn't look that impressive, but showers into Thursday evening could bring a wet and colder day for Thursday. We could see gusty winds, showers, and highs only in the 30's in the upper elevations and 40's at lake level.
The total precipitation amounts vary run to run of the models, especially with the showery nature of the precipitation being shown. The European and Canadian models show up to 9 tenths of an inch of total precipitation near the crest, and lesser amounts east across the Tahoe basin through Thursday night.
Places where heavier showers set up we could see up to an inch of total precipitation. We will have to fine tune the possible totals as we get closer. The snow levels start above 8,000 feet Wednesday night, but could fall near 7,000 feet by Thursday morning, and close to lake level by Thursday evening. That means above 7,000 feet we could see several inches of snow on the mountains.
Our snowfall forecasts are always on our ski resort pages even when we aren't posting daily in the off-season. Unless you are hiking in the backcountry, the only mountain open during the week that you could possibly ski any snow is Squaw. Based on the latest model runs, we could see 3-9 inches of snow on the upper mountains. Slightly more is possible along the crest above 8,000 feet if heavier showers set up over a mountain. So we will watch this system closely for the next few days.
Beyond Day 5:
The GFS is similar with precip amounts through Thursday but has a 2nd wave moving through Friday adding a bit more precipitation. The other models begin to dry us out Friday.
The long-range model runs show that the trough could hang around the West Coast into the week of the 20th.
The GFS shows another storm possible next Sunday. The European model has that system further to our north.
Overall a cooler and more unsettled pattern starting Thursday and possibly hanging around for about a week before high pressure could take back over the pattern.
Squaw - Closing 5/27, then re-opening weekends through 7/7 (conditions permitting)
Alpine Meadows - Closed, re-opening weekends through 5/19
Heavenly - Closed, re-opening weekends through 5/27
Tahoe Donner - Closed
Kirkwood - Closed
Bear Valley - Closed
Dodge Ridge - Closed
Sugar Bowl - Closed
Sierra at Tahoe - Closed
Homewood - Closed
Boreal - Closed
Northstar - Closed
Diamond Peak - Closed
Mt. Rose - Closed
Donner Ski Ranch - Closed
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