A third in a row, cold, “potent,” Gulf of Alaska storm is forecast to hit California this weekend bringing the potential for significant snowfall in the Sierra Nevada mountains including Lake Tahoe and Mammoth. At this point, NOAA is calling for “moderate” snowfall and low snow levels from this storm.
Three-peat? Yes, it looks like another cool wet storm late next weekend, which would make it the 3rd such storm in a row. It looks a lot like the last 2 we’ve seen, a cool, wet system from the Gulf of Alaska. Mountain snow with Valley rain and maybe some thunderstorms are forecast.” – NOAA Sacramento, CA yesterday
A Pacific frontal system is forecast to move into northern California Saturday night bringing rain and mountain snow across most of northern California for the remainder of the weekend.” – NOAA Sacramento, CA today
NOAA is calling for “moderate” precipitation amounts from this storm along with snow levels down to valley floors. We’re hoping that “moderate” means 6″ of snow or more…
Bryan Allegretto thinks we could see as much as 9″ of snow:
Right now it looks like we could see 2-4 inches at lake level, and 3-6 inches on the mountains. Highest amounts North and West of the basin where 6-9 inches could fall. – Bryan Allegeetto/OpenSnow.com
More snow is forecast for Lake Tahoe (north of hwy 50) than Mammoth Lakes.
CONFIDENCE REMAINS HIGH FOR A WINTER SYSTEM TO MOVE ACROSS THE REGION, CONFIDENCE IN TIMING AND PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE ONLY MEDIUM. GFS [forecast model] REMAIN FASTER THAN THE ECMWF [forecast model], BUT BOTH INDICATE A MODERATE QPF [liquid precip] EVENT FOR AREAS NORTH OF HIGHWAY 50 [south lake tahoe] WITH LESSER AMOUNTS FARTHER SOUTH. THIS IS A COLD SYSTEM AND ANY RAIN AT LOWER ELEVATIONS WILL BE SHORT LIVED AS POTENT FRONT BRINGS SNOW LEVELS QUICKLY TO VALLEY FLOORS. - NOAA Reno, NV today
Mt. Rose and Boreal are currently open in Lake Tahoe and Mammoth is open in central California. Alpine Meadows will open on Thursday and Squaw will open on Saturday. Northstar and Heavenly will open this weekend. Kirkwood will open this weekend with the most terrain open in Lake Tahoe and the only expert terrain Tahoe.