Mostly sunny with increasing winds Sunday and seasonal temperatures. Monday a weak system will bring some snow showers later in the day. After a break Tue-Wed, a stronger storm is possible for Thursday - Friday, and another storm is possible next weekend.
Short Term Forecast
I'm getting the forecast out late today as I came down with a bug on Saturday. Spent 24 hours on the recliner and needed to pump enough medicine into my body to get up from the chair to the computer to look at the latest weather trends.
No changes to the Monday system. Not much of a system but it will bring in colder air and gusty winds. Expect some possible upper mountain lift issues at exposed mountains as west winds gust up to 70+ mph. High temperatures drop into the 30s at lake level and 20s for the upper mountains.
Looking at the forecast radar you can see that as the front moves through Monday afternoon/evening there is not much moisture forecast to reach the mountains.
The WPC's blended model forecast for total precipitation through Monday evening continues to show nothing up to a tenth of an inch for most of the region. That's enough for a dusting up to an inch of snow on the mountains. Maybe a few lucky peaks can squeeze out 2 inches.
Tuesday - Wednesday:
Tuesday into Wednesday the sun returns and the winds come down for Tuesday. But it stays cold with highs in the 30s. Wednesday the winds begin to crank back up by afternoon ahead of the next storm. Southwest winds gusting up to 50+ mph over the ridges.
The next storm is still on track to dig south into CA Thursday. The latest model runs continue to show the system tapping into moisture off of the Pacific with a weak AR (atmospheric river) pointed at the Sierra Thursday afternoon-evening.
The limiting factor with this storm could be the fast movement of the moisture feed from north to south through CA. Still, this system has the potential to bring a decent amount of snow to the mountains by Friday.
Winds crank up to over 100 mph over the ridgetops Thursday so expect a lot of lift closures. Probably not a good day for skiing. The moisture is forecast to reach the Tahoe Basin around late morning and continue through Thursday night, then clearing Friday. Snow levels may start out just below lake level and fall below 4000 ft. Thursday night.
That means this storm could start with thicker snow Thursday that turns more powdery with the snow showers behind the moisture stream Thursday night. The latest model runs have a range of 1.2 - 2.0 inches of total precip on the high end west of the lake along the Sierra crest, with up to 1.7 inches to the east side of the basin. The total model average is around 1.7 inches.
Here is the WPC's blended model forecast through Friday morning.
That's enough for around 1-2 feet of new snow on the mountains with this storm if the current model trends continue.
The storm is forecast to wind down by late morning Friday with clearing Friday afternoon. The winds should come down some Friday morning as well for a good powder day.
Another storm is still on track to move in by Saturday night into next Sunday the 4th.
This system could also tap additional moisture off of the Pacific. Amounts look less than the Thursday storm, but still could be a nice shot of additional snowfall. The latest European and GFS ensemble mean models are converging on around 3.5-4 inches of total precipitation along the crest through next Sunday.
The long-range models suggest that troughing could be over CA more than not over the next 2+ weeks, so the pattern may remain fairly active.
It's always interesting to see a -PNA (west coast trough) and -NOA (northeast trough) pattern at the same time. For now, hopefully a fun week of forecasting and receiving a couple of good snowstorms over the next 7 days.
On this week's episode, we follow Caleb's dream winter, look at the 5-Day Snowfall Reports for U.S. Ski Resorts, go through the 5-Day Snowfall Forecasts, discuss the Long Range Outlook, as well as a few laughs!
Be sure to join us for another season of good times chasing snow!
Available on most podcast platforms...