Snow and gusty winds continue Thursday into Thursday night. Mostly sunny and cold Friday. The next storm moves in by Saturday afternoon and lasts into Monday morning before clearing. Then we could see a break Tue-Thu. The next storm could be around the 9th-10th.
Short Term Forecast
It's storm day. The snow is falling, the winds are blowing, and we are watching. The snow moved in around 4 AM along the crest so most ski areas reported 1-2 inches as of 5-6 AM as the storm is just getting started.
Ridgetop winds are gusting up to 90-100 mph on the sensors Thursday morning. That is likely closing down some upper mountain lifts. The storm will continue into Thursday night with snow showers tapering off by Friday morning.
The final forecast was out Wednesday morning, so no updates, we just watch what happens on storm day.
The sun comes out, the winds die down, and it's cold for Friday morning. That should make for a great powder day.
Saturday - Sunday Storm:
Looking at the satellite image this morning we see the current storm moving through CA and we also see the next storm up in the Gulf of Alaska that will drop down off of the CA coast by Saturday.
This low will draw up moisture off the southern CA coast into the Sierra by Saturday afternoon with snow showers returning. Snow levels could be near lake level to start in the 6000-6500 ft. range, so maybe a little rain for lower elevations.
Then Saturday night into Sunday the heaviest precip streams in. The models are all trending wetter with this portion of the storm.
Snow levels may slowly lower to around 5500-6000 ft. Saturday night and 4500-5000 ft. by Sunday afternoon. So not a cold storm, but it looks cold enough for mainly all snow for most elevations around the lake and to the base of the ski areas. Ridgetop winds gusting up to 50-60+ mph from the southwest both days.
Snow showers continue into Sunday night as the low off the coast moves inland across CA. Snow levels drop below 4000 ft. The latest model runs suggest snow showers could end by Monday morning with clearing into the afternoon.
Total precipitation forecasts range from 1.0 - 3.5 inches along the crest with up to 2+ inches to the east side of the basin. That is still a big range as the models try to decide how far north the heaviest precip falls. The total model average is around 2.3 inches this morning, up from 1.4 inches Wednesday morning. Here is the WPC's blended model forecast which includes the Thursday storm.
Here is my updated snowfall forecast based on the average of the latest forecast model runs.
There are more and more models jumping on board with the wetter scenario which is why the snowfall forecast is increasing. Hopefully, we can keep the snow levels below lake level for most of the storm. We have two more days to fine-tune the forecast.
Monday the winds drop off and the sun should come out by the afternoon, so it could be another good powder day like Friday.
We are expecting a break in the storms with mostly sunny skies and cold temperatures Tuesday through next Thursday the 8th, as high pressure builds in.
Then the long-range models continue to show another trough digging into the West Coast for the 9th-10th, which could be when the next storm moves through.
Beyond day 10, the long-range models continue to suggest that the -NAO pattern could take over the pattern. That strong ridge looks to be stuck over Greenland and eventually, the trough could get stuck underneath over the East, with the ridge stuck over the West.
That could bring us a drier pattern for a little while starting around the 11th through mid-December. We'll have to watch the trends on how long that pattern could set in, if it does set in...
On this week's episode, The Flakes are melting as we discuss all the snow coming to the West this week!
Available on most podcast platforms...