NOAA: Atmospheric River Could Bring “Multiple Feet of Snow” to California Next Week

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Active Weather Pattern

Active weather pattern expected next week. The jet stream in the eastern Pacific is going to strengthen next week bringing strong storms to the west coast. The most likely time for impacts in the Sierra Nevada will be the end of next week, between Wednesday Dec. 9th and Friday Dec. 11th. It is too far out to project the exact impacts from these storms, but right now it looks like the Sierra may see very strong winds and rain/snow for the second half of next week.

Posted by US National Weather Service Reno Nevada on Saturday, December 5, 2015

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(above video showing forecast model of an Atmospheric River hitting California Dec. 7th-11th)

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NOAA is currently forecasting two storms to hit California next week – one Thursday, one Saturday.  The both storms have the potential to bring “multiple feet” snow to the Sierra Nevada.  Even Bryan Allegretto agrees…

“If the current model runs hold we could see 12-18 inches at lake level by Friday morning.  On the mountains we could see 18-24 inches on the East side of the basin, 24-30 on the West side, and up to 3 feet West of the basin along the crest. – Bryan Allegretto, opensnow.com


NOAA is saying this could be the strongest storm of the season thus far:

The strongest storm of the season so far is expected late Wed into Thu this week.” – NOAA Hanford, CA today

image: noaa, today
image: noaa, today

NOAA is cautiously calling for “multiple feet” of snow from these two storms.

“Between the two systems, the Sierra and Klamath mountains could be looking at 4-8” of rain and multiple feet of snow – NOAA Sacramento, CA today

“This second system has the potential to produce very significant rainfall and snowfall over the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada.” – NOAA Hanford, CA today

"The strongest storm of the season so far is expected late Wed into Thu this week. A strong upper jet is expected to stretch across much of the Pacific into CA and the Pac NW, with a moisture tap stretching back to near Hawaii. Heaviest precipitation is expected near the coast and in the Sierra." - NOAA
“The strongest storm of the season so far is expected late Wed into Thu this week. A strong upper jet is expected to stretch across much of the Pacific into CA and the Pac NW, with a moisture tap stretching back to near Hawaii. Heaviest precipitation is expected near the coast and in the Sierra.” – NOAA
THE WEATHER PATTERN BECOMES PRETTY ACTIVE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE
WEEK, FEATURING A POWERFUL JET AND RESPECTABLE ATMOSPHERIC RIVER
STRETCHING ACROSS THE PACIFIC THAT WILL BRING A PAIR OF WINTER
STORMS INTO THE SIERRA AND WESTERN NEVADA. FORECAST CONFIDENCE IS
HIGH THAT WE WILL SEE ACTIVE WEATHER WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY, ALONG WITH
ANOTHER POTENTIALLY STRONGER STORM PUSHING IN SATURDAY-SUNDAY.
- NOAA Reno, NV today

These forecast are way out, so we have to take them with a grain of salt.  That said, NOAA generally doesn’t say anything about storms this far out unless they’re feeling confident about them.  Fingers crossed.

NOAA’s long range forecasts are showing “Heavy Precipitation” for Lake Tahoe in the next 3-14 days.  Specifically Dec. 7th-11th and Dec. 12th.

NOAA's 3-7 day forecast showing "Heavy Precipitation" in Tahoe.
NOAA’s 3-7 day forecast showing “Heavy Precipitation” in Tahoe on Dec. 7th-11th.
hazards_d8_14_contours
NOAA’s 8-14 day forecast showing “Heavy Precipitation” in Tahoe on Dec. 12th.
NOAA's 3-7 day forecast showing "Heavy Precipitation" in Tahoe.
NOAA’s 8-14 day forecast showing “Moderate” chance of “Much Below Normal Temperatures”  in Tahoe on Dec. 13th – 14th.

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