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
Snow levels are expected to drop down to all valley floors by the time that Thursday Evening rolls around.
Additional Storm Info:
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
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 snow. 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.