Whoa! Snow? In Tahoe? It’s almost hard to believe at this point. Since we’re just as scared as you are about this forecast, we’re gonna let NOAA do most the talking here. NOAA is forecasting between 6-12″ of snow with snow levels as low as 3,500′ from this storm that is forecast to occur Friday and Saturday.
NOAA Reno, NV:
A winter system is expected to drop into the Sierra and western Nevada Friday into Saturday bringing showers to the region. This is a colder system and snow levels will quickly lower to 4000-5000 feet by Friday night into Saturday morning. Accumulating snow is probable in the Sierra with 6 inches or more possible above 7000 feet and several inches elsewhere. In western Nevada, light snow accumulation is possible Friday night, but confidence is lower. The big thing to take away is that travel is likely to be impacted Friday through Saturday night, especially in the Sierra. If you have travel plans, please check back for the latest details.
NOAA FORECAST DISCUSSION:
THE BIG STORY IN THE FORECAST IS A STORM SYSTEM CURRENTLY IN THE NORTHEAST PACIFIC WHICH WILL DROP ALONG THE WEST COAST FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY. THIS WILL BRING SHOWERS AND MUCH COLDER TEMPERATURES TO THE REGION. THIS SYSTEM DOES ORIGINATE IN THE PACIFIC AND HAS MOISTURE WRAPPED INTO IT, BUT IS A HYBRID SLIDER IN THAT IN DROPS SOUTH OVER LAND, ALMOST ALONG THE SIERRA, AND SO DOES NOT MAINTAIN A PACIFIC MOISTURE TAP. THEREFORE, IT DOES HAVE DEEP MOISTURE TO WORK WITH, BUT THE MOISTURE IS LIMITED, AND THE NORTHWEST TRAJECTORY IS NOT GREAT FOR OROGRAPHIC ENHANCEMENT EITHER. OVERALL, PRECIPITATION LOOKS TO BE MORE SHOWERY WITH THE BEST BET FOR STEADY PRECIPITATION ALONG A DEFORMATION AXIS LATE FRIDAY INTO SATURDAY. ALL AREAS IN THE SIERRA AND NORTHWEST NEVADA HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE SHOWERS, BUT PINING DOWN WHICH AREAS WILL BE HARDEST HIT IS ESPECIALLY TRICKY WITH THIS TYPE OF SYSTEM A FEW DAYS OUT. THE COLD FRONT ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM WILL QUICKLY BRING SNOW LEVELS DOWN TO 4000-5000 FEET FRIDAY NIGHT. IT IS QUITE POSSIBLE LOCATIONS IN WESTERN NEVADA COULD SEE LIGHT SNOW ACCUMULATION, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE DEFORMATION BAND IS LIKELY TO FORM OVERNIGHT. HOWEVER, THIS IS GOING TO BE DEPENDENT ON EXACTLY WHERE THE BAND SETS UP...SOME PLACES MAY SEE ACCUMULATION WHILE OTHERS STAY DRY. IN THE SIERRA, 3 TO 6 INCHES IS POSSIBLE FROM FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING, WITH ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATION POSSIBLE DURING THE DAY SATURDAY. FORECASTER CONFIDENCE IS LOW TO MEDIUM FOR WESTERN NEVADA SNOW TOTALS AND MEDIUM FOR THE SIERRA SNOW TOTALS. THE BIG THING TO KEEP IN MIND IS IF YOU HAVE TRAVEL PLANS FOR FRIDAY AND/OR SATURDAY, YOUR TRAVEL MAY BE IMPACTED BY SNOW. BE PREPARED FOR WINTER DRIVING CONDITIONS AND CHECK BACK FOR THE LATEST FORECAST DETAILS. DJ