NOAA is currently discussing the possibility of a big, wet, nasty storm in California this weekend.
“Deep Pacific Moisture” is forecast to hit California beginning Friday night. Snow levels will be high at somewhere between 7,500 & 9,000 feet before dropping to around 5,000 feet on Saturday.
NOAA is estimating around 3″ of liquid precipitation for the Sierra Crest which would translate to around 3 feet of snow. Snow levels will be high, mind you, during the bulk of the precipitation. NOAA is also saying there is a 10-20% chance there could be 6″ of liquid precip for the Sierra Crest – that would be 6 feet of snow on the crest…
That said, more lines in the Chimney at Squaw will open up and Granite Chief Peak will become a freeride playground… The news isn’t as good for lower mountain areas in California, but hey, whattayagonnado? California will take the precip any way we can get it right now!
NOAA FORECAST DISCUSSION:
.LONG TERM...FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY... MODELS STILL SHOW A PRETTY GOOD SIERRA STORM FOR LATE FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THEY ARE STARTING TO COME INTO A LITTLE BETTER AGREEMENT. HIGHER CONFIDENCE FOR THE FRIDAY TIME PERIOD, BUT IT REMAINS LOW FOR SATURDAY INTO SUNDAY AS THE GFS AND EC REMAIN SOMEWHAT AT ODDS. STILL, THEY ARE CLOSER THAN THEY WERE 24 HOURS AGO. FRIDAY AFTERNOON THE INITIAL BAND OF DEEP PACIFIC MOISTURE WILL REACH THE NORTHERN SIERRA WITH STRONG 700 MB WINDS ALOFT AND CONTINUE INTO FRIDAY NIGHT. SNOW LEVELS WILL BE HIGH TO START, POSSIBLY 7500-9000 FEET NORTH TO SOUTH THEN GRADUALLY FALL ABOUT 1500 FEET OVERNIGHT FRIDAY. IT APPEARS MOST RAIN WILL BE CONFINED TO AREAS NEAR THE CREST WITH ONLY SOME SPILLOVER DUE TO BLOWOVER AT LEAST FRIDAY AFTERNOON. AS THE FRONT SAGS, SPILLOVER SHOULD BE A LITTLE BETTER WITH THE FORCING, AT LEAST INTO EXTREME WESTERN NEVADA. BEFORE THE SPILLOVER BECOMES MORE APPARENT, GUSTY WINDS ARE LIKELY, ESPECIALLY ALONG THE HIGHWAY 395 CORRIDOR FRIDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, THE EC NOW SHOWS SLOWER MOVEMENT OF THE FRONT SOUTH, WITH IT BRIEFLY STALLING SATURDAY EVENING AS A WAVE SPINS UP ON IT. IT THEN PUSHES THOUGH SUNDAY MORNING. THE GFS CONTINUES TO SHOW THE WAVE BEING MUCH STRONGER WITH SOMEWHAT LIGHTER PRECIP SATURDAY BEFORE BECOMING HEAVY LATE SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY. WITH MORE ENSEMBLE MEMBERS FAVORING THE EC IDEA, WILL CONTINUE TO LEAN IN THAT DIRECTION. STILL, I WOULD EXPECT A LITTLE MORE OF A TREND IN THE GFS DIRECTION, BUT NOT THE BOMBING OF THE WAVE IT SHOWS. SNOW LEVELS ON BOTH MODELS ARE DOWN TO 5000 FEET NORTH TO 7000 FEET MONO COUNTY BY SAT AFTERNOON AND AT ALL VALLEY FLOORS BY SUNDAY EVENING. BEST ESTIMATE FOR PRECIP (WATER) AMOUNTS ARE 3+ INCHES NEAR THE SIERRA CREST AND 1-2 INCHES TO HIGHWAY 395 WITH PERHAPS UP TO 1/2 INCH WESTERN NV. STILL A SMALL CHANCE (10-20%) OF THE GFS SOLUTION VERIFYING WHERE AMOUNTS WOULD BE DOUBLE. SNOW AMOUNTS ARE EVEN MORE UNCERTAIN AS IT WILL DEPEND ON THE TIMING OF THE SNOW LEVEL DROP. A BREAK IS EXPECTED MONDAY UNDER NORTHWEST FLOW BEHIND THE SYSTEM WITH TEMPERATURES SEVERAL DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. WALLMANN