Mostly sunny through Friday. A late-season storm moves in Saturday with a few showers possible. Then heavier precipitation with snow to lake level later Saturday night into Sunday Night. Scattered snow showers possible Monday. Then drier and warming by the middle of next week through the end of the week.
Short Term Forecast
Not much has changed this morning with the forecast through the weekend. We have nice weather through Friday and then a cold and windy weekend ahead with accumulating snow for Sunday.
Thursday - Friday:
The nice weather continues with sunny skies. Highs in the 50s to near 60 degrees down at lake level. Ridgetop winds could gust to 30+ mph from the west.
Saturday through Monday will not be so nice as a winter storm moves through.
We start with increasing clouds, strong winds, and scattered showers Saturday. Ridgetop winds gusting up to 70+ mph from the southwest likely affecting some upper mountain lifts. Snow levels starting out around 8000 ft. with scattered showers Saturday morning and then falling to 7000-7500 ft. by evening. Not expecting more than a dusting of snow up high. Highs in the 30s on the mountains and 40s at lake level.
Saturday night the heavier precipitation moves in, possibly not until late in the evening or after midnight. Snow levels starting out around 7000 ft. but crash with the incoming moisture down to 5000-5500 ft. by Sunday morning. We could see a few inches of snow on the mountains by morning.
Sunday is the main event with the strong winds and snow continuing. Ridgetop winds continuing to gust up to 60+ mph. Snow levels hovering in the 5000-5800 ft. range through the day, so expecting all snow to lake level. Sunday we see the heaviest snow with several inches for the mountains. Highs in the 30s.
Snow showers continue into Sunday night and mostly tapering off by Monday morning, but we could see some scattered snow showers around Monday. Snow levels dropping below 5000 ft. Sunday night and rising back up to 6000 ft. Monday. Highs in the 30s on the mountains and low 40s at lake level as the sun starts to break through on Monday. The strong winds drop off for Monday.
Total precipitation amounts haven't changed much this morning. The splitting idea is gone on the Canadian and the European has come down with precip amounts. All of the models except for the GFS now have around 1 inch of total precip along the crest, and up to 0.7 inches on the east side of the lake. Up to 2 inches west of the crest in the foothills well west of any ski resorts.
The GFS model loves playing the hero and has all season. Most of the time it hasn't worked out but we had a storm or two that ended up getting the higher GFS amounts. The latest GFS model run has up to 2 inches of precip along the crest and up to 1 inch on the east side of the lake. Basically, double the other models.
Snow ratios through Sunday mainly 9-13:1 on the mountains and then some drier snow for Sunday night with snow ratios of 12-16:1 on the mountains. That should bring some decent snow for Monday morning fresh tracks. The average snow ratio at 8k around 12:1 so most models have up to a foot along the crest, and the GFS up to 2 feet. The updated snowfall forecast using the model average hasn't changed much this morning.
High pressure builds in over CA starting Tuesday through the end of next week.
That will bring a return of sunny skies starting Tuesday and warming temperatures. Highs into the 40s Tuesday to around 50 degrees at lake level, and then 50s to around 60 degrees by Wednesday.
The ridge may shift off the coast a bit by the end of the week. The latest model runs keep the storm track to our north through Friday. The European model tries to dip a storm into northern CA around May 1st...
... and the GFS model around May 5th. We will keep an eye on that. But overall a drier spring pattern expected again starting Tuesday.
Squaw put out a post yesterday talking about the loss of snow down low. Without this storm, they could close by the end of the month. The snow Sunday should help to fill in some gaps and possibly help push them into May, but likely not past early-mid May so I updated the closing dates.
Ski Resort Closing Dates:
Squaw/Alpine - Early-Mid May (tentative)
Mammoth - 5/31 (tentative)
Mt. Shasta - CLOSED
Tahoe Donner - CLOSED
Boreal - CLOSED
Sugar Bowl - CLOSED
Northstar - CLOSED
Homewood - CLOSED
Mt. Rose - CLOSED
Diamond Peak - CLOSED
Heavenly - CLOSED
Sierra at Tahoe - CLOSED
Kirkwood - CLOSED
Bear Valley - CLOSED
Dodge Ridge - CLOSED
June Mountain - CLOSED
China Peak - CLOSED
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