Two small storms move through Sunday - Sunday night and Tuesday - Wednesday with snow showers. A small break Thursday before another weak system Friday. The weekend of the 25-26th could be storm free. The storm door looks to remain open through the end of the month with the next system possible by the 27th.
Short Term Forecast
We have some light snow showers starting to push into the area as of 6 AM Sunday. You can see plenty of moisture moving in on the radar this morning which will increase the snow showers during the day.
The steadiest/heaviest snow is expected during the day on Sunday into Sunday evening. Winds will increase from the southwest through the day with gusts up to 50-60+ mph over the ridges by the end of the ski day. That may affect some upper mountain lifts. Highs into the 30s.
Scattered snow showers continue Sunday night. The latest model runs are clearing the system out faster with some scattered snow showers possible Monday morning but clearing through the day with partly sunny skies. Ridgetop winds still gusting up to 50-60+ mph early Monday and then falling through the day.
The latest model runs have trended the total precipitation forecasts down a bit more with the faster exit of the storm. The GFS model is still the wettest with up to 1.1 inches of liquid near the crest, but it has come down a lot from yesterday. The rest of the models have a range of 0.6 - 0.8 inches and up to 0.5 inches to the east side of the basin.
The total model average including the much wetter GFS model is down a tenth to around 0.9 inches near the crest. Here is a look at the ICON model forecast which is closest to the average.
Snow levels are starting near lake level and could hover in the 5500-6500 ft. range Sunday, which is near lake level. So we can't rule out some rain mixing into the wet snow. Then snow levels drop Sunday night to 4500-5500 ft. as the storm winds down into Monday morning.
Snow ratios will be on the lower end Sunday around 8-13:1 from lake level up to 9000 ft. Then increasing a bit Sunday night to 9-16:1. That could drop a little bit of some drier snow on the mountains at the end overnight. We could have up to a few inches of fresh snow to ski Monday morning.
Here is my final snowfall forecast for the Sunday - Sunday night system. It's down around 1-2 inches from yesterday's forecast.
Tuesday - Wednesday System:
The next storm moves into CA Tuesday. The latest model runs show light snow showers moving back in by late morning and then steadier snow showers for Tuesday afternoon-evening.
The flow turns south-southeast Tuesday with wind gusts up to 30-40+ mph. That is not favorable for mountain lift enhancement of precipitation over the Tahoe basin, so we expect light-moderate snow showers. Highs in the 20s on the upper mountains to near 30 degrees at lake level.
Going into Tuesday night the low begins to shift south with the snow showers diminishing, but scattered snow showers could linger into Wednesday. Highs are still in the 20s for the upper mountains and near 30 degrees at lake level along with lighter winds.
The latest model runs haven't changed much since Saturday morning. They still show most of the precipitation pushing in to our south with a range of 0.4 - 0.8 inches of total precipitation on the high-end west of the lake near the crest, and up to 0.6 inches to the east side of the basin. The total model average is still around 0.6 inches near the crest.
The snow levels look to be around 4500-5500 ft. through Tuesday afternoon. Then dropping to 2500-3500 ft. Tuesday night, and back up to 5000-5700 ft. by Wednesday afternoon. The snow ratios could average around 11-16:1 from lake level up to 9000 ft. That's fairly dry by Tahoe standards. Most of the snow is expected to fall by Tuesday evening with only light amounts through Wednesday.
Here is my updated snowfall forecast for the 2nd storm, which hasn't really changed much from yesterday. With the southeasterly flow Tuesday we may pick up almost as much snow on the east side of the basin as on the west side.
I have the mountains south of Kirkwood in red as heavier snow is expected to our south. I would put the ski areas north of the lake toward the lower end of the forecast, and the ski areas south of the lake toward the higher end. Dodge Ridge could break a foot of snow on the upper mountain.
We look to be between storms Thursday. We should see partly-mostly sunny skies with highs into the 30s. There could be a few scattered snow showers around.
By next weekend the trough is still over the West but it could be shifted a bit farther east.
That would push the storm track farther east with any weak systems moving down from the north. The next weak system could dig just far enough south on Friday to bring some light snow showers and a few inches of snow.
I'll put out a snowfall forecast on Monday if it still looks like we could see accumulating snow with this storm.
The latest model runs still show a break between storms next weekend for the 25th-26th. We'll continue to watch the trends to see if we can sneak in a pair of partly-mostly sunny days and a nice weather weekend.
Another trough looks to dig down the West Coast around the 27th, which could open the door to more storms the last several days of the month. We are continuing to watch the trends with the next storm that could move in from the 27th-28th.
We could see another storm or two before the end of the month. The long-range models continue to show above-average precipitation through the 1st of April.
My hopes of a nice weekend for the 1st weekend in April may be fading. It was only based on my wishes and not the pattern forecasts. The latest model runs show the unsettled pattern continuing into the first week of April, so we could see snow showers around for the first weekend in April. Winter doesn't want to let go...