Atmospheric River Will Impact California Tonight | Winter Storm Warning, 1-3 Feet of Snow Forecast

WeatherBrains | | WeatherWeather
image: noaa, yesterday
image: noaa, today

The Atmospheric River NOAA has been tracking will hit California tonight through Friday morning.  1-3 feet of snow is forecast above 7,000-feet with winds as high as 130mph on Sierra ridges.  A Winter Storm Warning has been issued beginning at 4am Thursday and ending at 4am on Friday.

A WINTER STORM WILL IMPACT THE REGION TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT WITH 
HIGH WINDS, FOLLOWED BY HEAVY SNOW IN THE SIERRA AND RAIN FOR LOWER 
ELEVATIONS. - NOAA Reno, NV today
Pin = Squaw Valley.  Pink = Winter Storm Warning.  BLUE = Winter Weather Advisory
Pin = Squaw Valley. Pink = Winter Storm Warning. BLUE = Winter Weather Advisory

NOAA is forecasting 7-18″ of snow below 7,000-feet and 1-3 feet of snow above 7,000-feet.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: ABOVE 7000 FEET...1 TO 2 FEET WITH
  LOCALLY UP TO 3 FEET NEAR THE SIERRA CREST. BELOW 7000
  FEET...7 TO 14 INCHES EXCEPT 12 TO 18 INCHES WEST OF HIGHWAY
  89. - NOAA Reno, NV today
Snow forecast map for NorCal on Thursday.  RED = 12-18" of snow forecast.  ORANGE = 12-18" of snow forecast.
Snow forecast map for NorCal on Wed-Fri. RED = 12-18″ of snow forecast. ORANGE = 12-18″ of snow forecast.

Snow levels will start high at around 8,000-feet tonight before dropping down to 5,500-feet by Thursday afternoon.  Snow levels should be down to ski resort base areas by Thursday morning.

* SNOW LEVELS: 8000 TO 8500 FEET TONIGHT...THEN FALLING TO
  BELOW 5500 FEET BY EARLY THURSDAY AFTERNOON. - NOAA Reno, NV today

 

SNOW LEVELS WILL PLUNGE RAPIDLY FOR NORTHEAST CA-NORTHWEST NV BY
MID-LATE MORNING, WITH A CHANGEOVER FROM HEAVY RAIN TO HEAVY SNOW
FOR TRUCKEE AND TAHOE BASIN AROUND MIDDAY, AND FOR EARLY AFTERNOON
WEST OF HIGHWAY 395 IN MONO COUNTY. - NOAA Reno, NV today
Graph of forecast snow levels for the base of Squaw Valley.
Graph of forecast snow levels for the base of Squaw Valley (see bottom row).  Starting Thursday morning, snow levels look good for Tahoe ski resorts.

Winds will be strong with this storm as the jet stream comes right over Tahoe.  Winds will gust over 100mph on Sierra ridges.

PEAK GUSTS COULD REACH 65-75 MPH DURING THIS EVENT, WITH LOCAL GUSTS NEAR 
85 MPH IN WIND PRONE AREAS, AND NEAR 130 MPH FOR SIERRA RIDGES. 
- NOAA Reno, NV today
Very high snow probability for California Thurs-Fri. image: noaa, today
Very high snow probability for California Thurs-Fri. image: noaa, today

Another atmospheric river storm is forecast to hit California on Sunday-Monday.  Snow totals and full details are still uncertain.  This storm will be colder with higher snow ratios with some talk of up to 3-feet of snow..

WE ARE CONSIDERING AN INCREASE TO THE HIGHER END OF THE SNOWFALL RANGE 
(UP TO 3 FEET NEAR THE CREST) WHEN THE NEXT WINTER STORM STATEMENT IS 
ISSUED. - NOAA Reno, NV today

 

MEDIUM RANGE MODELS ARE STILL IN GOOD AGREEMENT SHOWING ANOTHER
STORM TO AFFECT THE REGION THIS WEEKEND. FORECASTER CONFIDENCE
REMAINS HIGH THAT THIS STORM WILL BRING STRONG WINDS AND SNOW TO THE
REGION, WITH TRAVEL IMPACTS LATE SUNDAY INTO MONDAY MORNING. DETAILS
SURROUNDING THE STORM, SUCH AS SNOW AMOUNTS AND WIND SPEEDS ARE
STILL A BIT UNCERTAIN, BUT OVERALL FORECAST CONFIDENCE IS RISING.
- NOAA Reno, NV today

 

THE MAIN ATMOSPHERIC RIVER AND PRECIPITATION WILL PUSH INTO THE
NORTHERN SIERRA SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND PUSH THROUGH THE REGION BY
MONDAY MORNING. THIS STORM LOOKS COLDER THAN THE THURSDAY STORM,
WITH HIGHER SNOW RATIOS AND SNOW LEVELS FALLING TO ALL VALLEY FLOORS
SUNDAY EVENING BEHIND THE COLD FRONT. - NOAA Reno, NV today
The west coast is about to get clobbered with precipitation
The west coast is about to get clobbered with precipitation

WINTER STORM WARNING for CALIFORNIA:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RENO NV
401 AM PST WED DEC 9 2015

GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...SOUTH LAKE TAHOE...TAHOE CITY...
TRUCKEE...MARKLEEVILLE...GLENBROOK...INCLINE VILLAGE

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM THURSDAY TO
4 AM PST FRIDAY...

* TIMING: SNOW WILL MOVE INTO THE LAKE TAHOE BASIN LATE TONIGHT
  WITH HEAVY SNOWFALL BY THURSDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL DECREASE
  BY THURSDAY EVENING WITH SNOW SHOWERS LINGERING INTO FRIDAY
  MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: ABOVE 7000 FEET...1 TO 2 FEET WITH
  LOCALLY UP TO 3 FEET NEAR THE SIERRA CREST. BELOW 7000
  FEET...7 TO 14 INCHES EXCEPT 12 TO 18 INCHES WEST OF HIGHWAY
  89.

* WINDS: STRONG WINDS ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY
  MORNING.SOUTHWEST 30 TO 45 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 65 MPH.
  RIDGE GUSTS UP TO 125 MPH. DAMAGE TO TREES IS POSSIBLE.

* SNOW LEVELS: 8000 TO 8500 FEET TONIGHT...THEN FALLING TO
  BELOW 5500 FEET BY EARLY THURSDAY AFTERNOON.

* IMPACTS: SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS AND
  ICY ROADS. SNOWFALL RATES WILL EXCEED PLOWING CAPABILITIES
  AT TIMES. THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 80...HIGHWAY 50...
  CALIFORNIA HIGHWAYS 88...89...267 AND NEVADA HIGHWAYS 28...
  207 AND 431. SIGNIFICANT DELAYS AND DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER
  CONDITIONS POSSIBLE FOR BACK COUNTRY ACTIVITIES.
image: noaa, today
image: noaa, today

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for CALIFORNIA:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HANFORD CA
415 AM PST WED DEC 9 2015

TULARE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CAMP NELSON...GIANT FOREST...
JOHNSONDALE...LODGEPOLE

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THURSDAY
TO 7 AM PST FRIDAY...

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...6 TO 9 INCHES ABOVE 7000 FEET AND 3 TO 6
  INCHES ABOVE 5000 FEET. UP TO 2 INCHES AT 4000 FEET. LOCALLY
  HEAVIER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

* TIMING...LATE THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING WITH THE
  BULK OF THE SNOW DURING THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SNOW
  LEVELS ARE EXPECTED AROUND 6000 FEET LATE THURSDAY MORNING AND
  LOWER TO AROUND 4000 FEET BY LATE THURSDAY NIGHT.

* IMPACTS...SLICK...SNOW COVERED ROADS AND WINTER DRIVING
  CONDITIONS. TRAVEL DELAYS AND CHAIN CONTROLS WITH POSSIBLE
  ROAD CLOSURES.
7-day liquid precipitation forecast map showing aobut 4" of liquid precip for Tahoe. That would translate to about 4-feet of snow... image: noaa, today
7-day liquid precipitation forecast map showing aobut 4″ of liquid precip for Tahoe. That would translate to about 4-feet of snow… image: noaa, today

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