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A Snowy Weekend Ahead /

Submitted by ba February 7, 2014 - 8:47am Weather

We picked up 6 inches from the first system Wednesday night through Thursday night.  Light snow is falling this morning.  Only change this morning is a slight increase in total precip by some of the models for the weekend.  We have a good idea of snow levels but it will still be a wait and see event.  

The moisture plume extending from Hawaii is taking aim at us this morning.  Winds are also picking up in the higher elevations.

Satellite

The radar is showing the heavier precip moving into the Northwest corner of the state and pushing Southeast.  We will see snowfall rates pick up this afternoon into tonight.  Expecting snow this afternoon and most of tonight down to the base with this firts wave of heavier precip.  Snow levels look like they will rise near 7000 ft. Saturday morning, but not before 6-10 inches could fall at the base.  10-15 inches could fall above 7000 feet by Saturday morning with up to 20 inches at high cam and above.  That would bring 3 day totals close to 2 feet up top.

During the day Saturday the snowfall will continue on the mountain.  Another heavier wave of precip is expected to push in later Saturday into Saturday night.  This is also expected to push snow levels up around 8000 ft. into Sunday morning.  High camp is around 8200 ft. to give you an better idea.  Then as the jet stream finally starts to push South on Sunday we should see snow levels start to slowly lower down near 7000 ft. Sunday evening and possibly close to lake level Sunday night before the precip winds down Monday morning.  

Again, snow levels could be slightly lower or even higher than 8000 ft. Saturday night into Sunday morning, but looking at the latest forecast models this morning that is a good guess.  Here are the snow level statements from the NWS Reno and Sacramento for snow levels.

NWS Reno

NWS Sacramento

Above 7000 ft. we could see another foot or more Sunday afternoon into Monday morning depending on when the snow level come back down.  That will be in addition to what fell through Saturday which will be 1-2 feet before the change over.  So storm totals of 2-3 feet possible between 7000-8000 ft. with rain sandwiched in the middle.

The forecast models have slightly increased precip totals for the weekend.  If we take the North American Model which is the middle of the road and assume mostly all snow above 8000 ft. that would give us around 40 to 60 inches by Monday.  Looking at the NWS forecast for 8000 ft. on Squaw Valley they have up to 66 inches, so my guestimate is close but slightly lower.  All in all we don't know exactly how much precip will fall and the exact snow levels, but we do know several inches of liquid and several feet of snow above 8000 ft.  

The precip will wind down Monday morning as the ridge builds off the coast and the moisture tap is cutoff.  Not for long though as the forecast models are trending further South with the next stream of moisture off the Pacific Wednesday and Thursday as low pressure sits in the Northeast Pacific.  This looks like another warm event with high snow levels near 8000 ft. from the start.  The further South tracking of the precip for this second event is new in the last day.  It could still shift further North, but a good sign that it's trending South and only within 5 days from the start.  

The forecast models lose their agreement starting next Friday.  Some models are cutting off the precip by Friday with a dry President's weekend, and others bringing in colder air on Friday with lower snow levels and keeps the precip going right into President's weekend with snow for all elevations.  We will need to keep watching to iron out the details for the holiday weekend which then heads right into ski/skate week for CA.

Looking at the ensemble runs of the models they are actually in better agreement beyond 10 days than they are in the 7-10 day window.  They are all hinting at a deeper trough developing down the West Coast with colder weather beyond President's Day, and the chance for colder storms.

Stay tuned....BA

 

 

 

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