A very interesting and complex trend on the forecast models over the past 24 hours. The Canadian and European forecast models were further South with the system for Thursday yesterday morning, and the GFS model was aimed right at us. They completely flipped now with the GFS going South of the us and the more reliable Canadian, European and now the NAM models bringing the system straight into the area.
The snow should start falling during Thursday morning and then tapering off Thursday night. Looking at the liquid outputs it looks like we could pick up 3-6 inches at the base, 6-9 inches up top by Friday morning. If the GFS is right we may only pick up a few inches.
Not much of a break in precip Friday morning and light snow showers may continue before the next wave of moisture moves in. The forecast models this morning point the hose right at us as a moisture plume extends from Hawaii to Northern CA and sits there all weekend. That increases liquid amounts aimed right at Tahoe. The heaviest pushes of precip are expected Friday night into Saturday and again Sunday, with the precip finally tapering off by Monday morning.
There is fairly good agreement in the model liquid outputs for the weekend in 3-4 inches of liquid over Squaw Valley. The complicated part of this storm will be the snow levels. The forecast models are in pretty good agreement that the snow levels will be down to base level through Saturday morning. Then they have snow levels rising near 8000 ft. Saturday night into Sunday before dropping to the base again Sunday night.
With these pineapple express type events sometimes the models are colder than what actually happens and sometimes warmer. The last storm snow levels dropped faster than expected to base level. They will start below base level with the cold air in place this time and the question is when and how high they rise and when they fall in timing with the precip. The forecast on the upper half of the mountain where it is all snow is much easier where 30-40 inches could fall by Monday morning. Below that is tricky. At base level we could see 4-8+ inches Friday night into Saturday before snow levels come up, and then several inches at the end Sunday night. Between 6500-7500 feet anywhere from 1-3 feet depending on the snow levels.
Things clear out next Monday as the ridge builds off the coast with clear weather through Wednesday.