A drying and warming trend through the 2nd week of May as we head later into Spring. These posts will resume again in the fall when the snow begins to fly again during the 2023-24 ski season.
Short Term Forecast
First Week of May Snowfall Reports:
The first week of May was a cold and snowy one. At the beginning of the week, I was forecasting 7-15 inches to fall on the mountains by the end of the week. As of Monday morning the 8th of May, we have reports of 11-21 inches of new snow that fell on the mountains during the first week of May!
It's hard to get snowfall reports this time of year with most of the ski areas closing, but we were able to get reports for the week from 7 plus the Central Sierra Snow Lab near Donner Summit. They are in the "May" column on the chart below.
The official average for the entire month of May at the Snow Lab is only 10 inches. They are reporting 16 inches only 7 days into the month. That makes this the 6th above-average snowfall month of the season, with only October and April seeing below-average snowfall.
What an amazing season, and one that wants to try and keep going right into May, with a few snow showers even lingering into Monday the 8th. This is the 3rd snowiest season on record since 1938, the 2nd snowiest since the Snow Lab began recording in 1948, and the snowiest season of the last 70 years!
Here is the chart for Oct-May snowfall since 1970, with this season currently at 574"!
We saw so much snow this season that it moved the 53-year snowfall average for the Snow Lab up 8 inches, from the 380"inches shown in the chart above from 1970-2022, to now 388" for 1970-2023. Amazing!
Second Week of May Forecast:
Monday the 8th we still have some cold and unsettled weather lingering as a system moves through to our north. Highs remain in the 30s for the upper mountains and 40s near lake level. A coasting of snow is possible on the upper mountains. We will also see some gusty winds with ridgetop gusts up to 60+ mph from the southwest.
As we go through the rest of the week and into the 2nd weekend of May, we will see a drying and warming trend through the week. Tuesday we could see a few clouds and a stray shower with highs warming into the 40s on the mountain and 50s at the base.
Mostly sunny skies by Wednesday through the weekend as high pressure builds in over the West.
Highs warming into the 50s on the upper mountains and 60s at lake level by the end of the week, and possibly hitting 70 degrees at lake level during the weekend of the 13th-14th.
The spring weather looks to remain with us through mid-month and into the 3rd week of May. As we get closer to mid-month we could see some southerly flow into the West drawing up enough moisture for some afternoon clouds or showers/thunderstorms.
See you in the fall for the start of forecasting for the 2023-24 winter season. It will be very hard to beat the season we just had, but we always have fun!
P.S. I plan to write a recap of the season post after we conclude the month of May. That will be posted on our "News" page.
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