NOAA: “Significant Rain & Snow” for California on Monday/Tuesday

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California snow forecast for the next 90 hours looks pretty good. image:

California ski resorts saw up to 10″ of snow at their higher elevations last night.

NOAA has issued a Special Weather Statement for California’s mountains for Monday and Tuesday.

NOAA is talking about big snow and rain on Monday/Tuesday in California.

“Mainly dry weather is expected this weekend, but the wettest storm of the winter season thus far will arrive in Northern California Monday into Tuesday. 1-2″ of rain are expected across the Valley, with higher amounts over the mountains!” – NOAA, today

Snow levels will be mostly around 8,000′ with this storm which is very high for Tahoe since most resorts only got up to 8,600′. 

For Monday’s storm, you’ll want to be as high as possible which means going to higher elevation ski resorts like:  Mammoth, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose.

  • Squaw Valley, CA = 4″ of snow last night
  • Kirkwood, CA = 7″ last night
  • Mammoth, CA = 6-8″ last night
  • Mt. Rose, NV = 5-10″ last night
Storm timeline. image: noaa, yesterday

Storm Summary:

A stronger and wetter
system will bring significant rain and high elevation snow Monday
and Tuesday with travel across the Sierra likely be impacted by
snow Monday night through Tuesday night. Quiet weather is
expected through the rest of the week into the weekend with a
return of wet weather possible mid January.
- NOAA Reno, NV today
“Things dry out today into Sunday before a stronger, wetter storm takes aim for NorCal. Widespread rain begins Monday, continuing into Tuesday. Snow levels will start high, but eventually drop below pass levels Monday night into Tuesday. ” – NOAA, today

Snow levels will be complex with this storm but will generally deliver high snow levels – likely around 8,000′ for the bulk of the .

Snow levels will start relatively high due to the subtropical origins
of the moisture tap, but do fall as the cold low moves inland,
shifting a cold front through the region. What also may be
problematic is the wet bulbing (evaporative cooling) that is likely
to take place at the start of the event. As the leading edge of
precipitation begins to move into the Sierra late Sunday night into
early Monday morning, forecast soundings indicate the possibility
for snow down to around 6000 feet. This will be brief, and as the
warmer and more moisture laden air arrives, snow levels will quickly
rise to 7500-8500 feet by Monday afternoon. The cold front looks to
push through between 4 am and 8 am Tuesday morning, which will
rapidly drop snow levels to around 6000-7000 feet. We could see snow
levels in the Sierra periodically dip to 5500 feet in the heavier
bands of precipitation.
- NOAA Reno, NV today

So, get as high as you can on Monday and Tuesday and hopefully Wednesday is a bluebird powder day up high.’

This storm will be great for building our base up high and terrible for our base down low.

Snowfall probability in CA on Tuesday. image: noaa, today

Special Weather Statement for California:

Special Weather Statement
National Weather Service RENO NV
329 AM PST Sat Jan 6 2018

Surprise Valley California-Lassen-Eastern Plumas-
Eastern Sierra Counties-Greater Lake Tahoe Area-Mono County-
Greater Reno-Carson City-Minden Area-Northern Washoe County-
Including the cities of Cedarville, Eagleville, Fort Bidwell,
Portola, Susanville, Westwood, Sierraville, Loyalton,
South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe City, Truckee, Markleeville, Bridgeport,
Coleville, Lee Vining, Mammoth Lakes, Stateline, Glenbrook,
Incline Village, Sparks, Verdi, Gardnerville, Virginia City,
Empire, and Gerlach


After a break in precipitation Sunday, a more significant storm
system will affect the region starting Monday. The heaviest rain
and snow is likely to occur Monday night into Tuesday, before
diminishing Tuesday night.

This storm has the potential to produce periods of heavy rain
along with significant snowfall for higher elevations of the
Sierra, with moderate accumulations possible down to 6500-7000
feet. For lower elevations of the Sierra including lake level in
the Tahoe basin, mostly rain is expected, with a short period of
snow possible by Tuesday morning.

Passes above 8000 feet could be impacted beginning Monday, with
travel likely to become problematic for all Sierra passes late
Monday night through Tuesday night. Mountains of western Nevada
are likely to pick up several inches of snow Tuesday, including
the Virginia City Foothills and Geiger Grade. For the remainder of
eastern California and western Nevada at elevations below 5500
feet, periods of rain are most likely from late Monday through
midday Tuesday.

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