Heavy Snowfall Is Expected To Bury The Sierra Wednesday Night – Saturday Morning | Several FEET of Snow Possible

WeatherBrains | | WeatherWeather
Squaw Valley, CA in January of 2017. Image: SnowBrains

The biggest storm of the season is expected to impact California Wednesday Evening – Saturday Morning. High winds and persistent snowfall are forecasted to hit the area throughout that time. Snow levels for this storm are expected to consistently stay below 5,500′.

“At least 1-3 feet of snow look good for the Sierra with higher amounts possible Thursday through Saturday.” – NOAA, Yesterday

7 day snowfall totals are HUGE for CA. Image: Tropical Tidbits
7 day precipitation totals. Image: NOAA

Snow levels are expected to drop down to all valley floors by the time that Thursday Evening rolls around.

Additional Storm Info:

Precipitatiion totals this week. Image: NOAA Reno, NV
Storms on tap this week. Image: NOAA Sacramento, CA

California: 1-3+ FEET of Snow Wednesday Night – Saturday Morning

* For Thursday and Friday, a stronger Pacific storm will arrive
  with gusty winds and snow. Heavy snowfall is expected in the
  Sierra Thursday through Saturday. Rain and snow are likely in
  Western Nevada on Thursday, changing to all snow Thursday night.
  Major travel impacts are expected in the Sierra with this storm as
  several feet of snow will be possible. Impacts to western Nevada
  valleys due to snow are also possible, but less certain. Stay up-
  to-date on this developing system and monitor www.weather.gov/reno
  for updates.

- NOAA Reno, NV Today
6-10 day temperature outlook. Image: NOAA
6-10 day precipitation outlook. Image: NOAA

Forecast Discussion:

A strong winter storm is likely for Thursday and Friday as models
have been rather consistent with dropping an upper low southward
off the Pacific Northwest coast. This is a favorable position for
heavy precipitation along the Sierra into western NV and given the
antecedent cold pattern, much of this will fall in the form of

As the initial front and forcing arrive Thursday, precipitation
will spread down the Sierra with heaviest snowfall developing
from the Tahoe Basin northward in favorable left exit region of
upper jet. The front will sag southward into northwest NV during
the day with spillover precipitation likely to remain mostly north
of I-80. Farther south, shadowing will limit precipitation and
temperatures will briefly warm to near seasonal normals with
rather gusty south to southwest winds. Impacts will be greatest in
the Tahoe Basin, northeast CA and far northwest NV where
significant accumulating snow is becoming likely. The front will
work southeast across the rest of the area late in the day with
showers spilling over behind the front and snow levels dropping to
all valley floors Thursday night.

Attention then turns to at least two shortwave features that will
be rotating around the large scale upper low and into the Sierra
and western NV Thursday night-Friday morning and again Friday
night. With very cold air in place, these waves will bring
additional periods of moderate to heavy snow to the Sierra,
especially from the Tahoe Basin northward as this area will remain
in the best location for forcing. Some model scenarios continue to
show spillover into western NV although they vary as to exactly
where these bands will set up. But where they do set up,
significant snowfall is a good possibility with guidance showing
impressive snowfall totals for both the Sierra as well as for the
Reno area.

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