“Heads up! Confidence is increasing that a series of storms will impact NorCal next week with valley rain and mountain snow.” – NOAA, today
NOAA is talking about a major pattern change coming to California next week.
After an extremely dry December, this is A+ news.
NOAA is gingerly forecasting the possibility of a series of storms impacting California’s mountains from January 15th-20th.
“Rain, snow and gusty winds may return to northern California, the eastern Sierra and western Nevada between January 15th and January 20th. Snow levels could drop below 5000 feet late next week.” – NOAA Reno, NV today
Tahoe and Mammoth really need this pattern change to come. California is currently sitting on a 25% of average snowpack and this series of storms appears to have the potential to completely change the game around here!
We don’t wanna get too excited too soon, of course, but this is looking better than what we’ve been seeing in the forecast…
LONG TERM OUTLOOK FOR CA:
LONG TERM...Sunday onward... Next week continues to look active with multiple systems progged to move into the west coast. There is still some question as to exactly where the systems and deepest moisture will make landfall along the west coast. The most recent model/ensemble trends have been hinting at the moisture feed working from the Pacific Northwest south into California and Nevada over the course of the week. Atmospheric river forecast tools would also indicate this potential, though still favor deepest moisture in the 40N-45N region compared to 35N-40N. The first of these waves arrives early next week, followed by a second wave the middle of the week, and a stronger system for the end of the week. Initially, snow levels will remain high with the region on the warm side of the jet, but there is decent model support for a cold area of low pressure to set up off the Pacific Northwest coast, with the trough elongating south. This could be the key feature to drive snow levels down toward the end of the week and does line up with a continuing moisture tap in many simulations. Longer range guidance shows that the series of troughs moving into the west will continue through the end of the month. This also agrees with the 8-14 day CPC outlook which is showing odds in favor for wetter and colder weather. Bottom line is this: While there is uncertainty in the exact details of these storms, a wet and potentially windy pattern is looking probable. Travel could be impacted at times from the middle through nearly the end of the month, so check back for updates.