Winter Storm Watch for California | 100mph Winds, 6-18″ of Snow, Coldest Temps Since 2013

WeatherBrains | | WeatherWeather
image: noaa, today
image: noaa, today

NOAA has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Sierra Nevada mountains of California from Yosemite’s northern border to the northern edge of Mt. Lassen National park from Tuesday morning until Wednesday morning.  They’re calling for 100mph winds, 6-18″ of snow, snow levels as low as 1,500-feet, lake effect snow, and the coldest temperatures since January 2013.

So much for El Nino being warm in California – for one storm at least…

THIS WILL THE BE COLDEST AIR THUS FAR THIS SEASON AND POSSIBLY 
THE COLDEST PERIOD OF WEATHER SINCE JANUARY 2013. WIND CHILL 
TEMPERATURES IN THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS MAY FALL AS LOW AS 
20 DEGREES BELOW ZERO. - NOAA Reno, NV today

Crazy to hear NOAA say that this could be the coldest air since January 2013…   They’re forecasting only 4ºF in Truckee Friday morning.

"Once we get past the snow and wind, very cold air will move into the region Tuesday Night and hang around until at least Saturday. This will likely be the coldest stretch of weather in the Sierra and western Nevada since January 2013!!!" - NOAA, today
“Once we get past the snow and wind, very cold air will move into the region Tuesday Night and hang around until at least Saturday. This will likely be the coldest stretch of weather in the Sierra and western Nevada since January 2013!!!” – NOAA, today

NOAA is now calling for 6-18″ of snow in Lake Tahoe with snow falling as low as 1,500-feet with this storm.

SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...12 TO 18 INCHES ALONG THE CREST...6 TO 12
INCHES ABOVE 4000 FEET....2 TO 6 INCHES ABOVE 2000 FEET FOR THE
MOTHERLODE WITH...1 TO 4 INCHES EXPECTED FOR THE NORTHEAST
FOOTHILLS. LOCALLY SNOW MAY FALL AS LOW AS 1500 FEET. - NOAA Reno, NV
"Projected storm total snow amounts have increased! There could be 12-18" of snow over the Sierra crest, and even the foothills could receive 2-6" through Wednesday! The heaviest periods of snow are expected Tuesday, especially in the afternoon." - NOAA today
“Projected storm total snow amounts have increased! There could be 12-18″ of snow over the Sierra crest, and even the foothills could receive 2-6″ through Wednesday! The heaviest periods of snow are expected Tuesday, especially in the afternoon.” – NOAA today

NOAA is calling for winds up to 100mph on Sierra ridges with sustained winds as high as 50mph during the storm.

* WINDS: SOUTHWEST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH. SIERRA
  RIDGE GUSTS UP TO 100 MPH. DAMAGE TO TREES IS POSSIBLE. 
  - NOAA Reno, NV today
Much lower snow totals forecast for the Yosemite and Mammoth areas. image: noaa, today
Much lower snow totals forecast for the Yosemite and Mammoth areas. image: noaa, today

NOAA is even calling for some significant lake effect snow bands that could leave the Mt. Rose/east shore area with some big snowfall totals.

FORECAST SOUNDINGS ARE ALSO QUITE UNSTABLE BY LATE TUESDAY INTO
WEDNESDAY, WHICH WOULD BE FAVORABLE FOR LAKE EFFECT SNOW BANDS
AND LOCALLY HEAVIER SNOW AMOUNTS DOWNWIND OF AREA LAKES. 
- NOAA Reno, NV today
RED = 100% chance of snow.
DARK RED = 100% chance of snow.

There are 12 ski resorts open in California right now (& 1 in Lake Tahoe, NV)The resorts further north (higher on this list) have a strong chance of seeing some dry, blower powder this week.

  • Boreal
  • Sugar Bowl (will open on Thursday)
  • Squaw Valley
  • Alpine Meadows
  • Northstar
  • Mt. Rose, NV
  • Heavenly
  • Sierra-at-Tahoe
  • Kirkwood
  • Mammoth
  • Mountain High
  • Snow Summit
  • Big Bear
3-day liquid precipitation forecast calling for 1.65" of liquid which at 20:1 snow ratios that NOAA is forecasting would translate to over 30" of snow...
3-day liquid precipitation forecast calling for 1.65″ of liquid which at 20:1 snow ratios that NOAA is forecasting would translate to over 30″ of snow…

WINTER STORM WATCH for CALIFORNIA:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SACRAMENTO CA
131 PM PST SUN NOV 22 2015

...A COLD WINTER STORM WILL BRING LOW ELEVATION SNOW...

.A WINTER STORM WILL MOVE INTO THE REGION ON TUESDAY. SNOW LEVELS
WILL START OUT BELOW MAJOR SIERRA PASS LEVELS AND RAPIDLY LOWER
THROUGHOUT THE DAY. SNOW MAY START FALLING IN THE MOTHERLODE AS
EARLY AS THE AFTERNOON. THE MAJOR PART TO THE SYSTEM WILL MOVE
THROUGH ON TUESDAY AND TUESDAY EVENING WITH SNOW SHOWERS
LIKELY CONTINUING TO IMPACT PARTS OF THE MOTHERLODE THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING.

SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...12 TO 18 INCHES ALONG THE CREST...6 TO 12
INCHES ABOVE 4000 FEET....2 TO 6 INCHES ABOVE 2000 FEET FOR THE
MOTHERLODE WITH...1 TO 4 INCHES EXPECTED FOR THE NORTHEAST
FOOTHILLS. LOCALLY SNOW MAY FALL AS LOW AS 1500 FEET.

MOTHERLODE-WESTERN PLUMAS COUNTY/LASSEN PARK-
WEST SLOPE NORTHERN SIERRA NEVADA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...GRASS VALLEY...JACKSON...CHESTER...
QUINCY...BLUE CANYON
...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SACRAMENTO HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH
WEDNESDAY MORNING.

* MAIN IMPACT: MAJOR TRAVEL PROBLEMS EXPECTED. ROAD CLOSURES AND
  DELAYS LIKELY. DRIVING CONDITIONS NORMALLY SEEN ONLY NEAR PASS
  LEVELS WILL OCCUR AT MUCH LOWER ELEVATIONS.

* CONFIDENCE...HIGH FOR UPPER ELEVATIONS...MEDIUM FOR FOOTHILLS.

* TIMING...HIGH

* LOCATIONS...LASSEN PARK SOUTH THROUGH THE WESTERN SLOPES OF THE
  SIERRA NEVADA

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...12 TO 18 INCHES ALONG THE CREST 6 TO 12
  INCHES ABOVE 4000 FEET....2 TO 6 INCHES ABOVE 2000 FEET.
Pin = Sugar Bowl ski resort. BLUE = Winter Storm Watch. PURPLE = Winter Weather Advisory.
Pin = Sugar Bowl ski resort. BLUE = Winter Storm Watch. PURPLE = Winter Weather Advisory.

 

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT for CALIFORNIA:

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RENO NV
311 PM PST SUN NOV 22 2015

SURPRISE VALLEY CALIFORNIA-LASSEN-EASTERN PLUMAS-
EASTERN SIERRA COUNTIES-GREATER LAKE TAHOE AREA-MONO-
MINERAL AND SOUTHERN LYON COUNTIES-GREATER RENO-CARSON CITY-
MINDEN AREA-WESTERN NEVADA BASIN AND RANGE INCLUDING PYRAMID LAKE-
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...HAWTHORNE...YERINGTON...SMITH VALLEY...MINA...
SCHURZ...GLENBROOK...INCLINE VILLAGE...SPARKS...VERDI...
GARDNERVILLE...VIRGINIA CITY...FERNLEY...FALLON...LOVELOCK...
SILVER SPRINGS...NIXON...IMLAY...EMPIRE...GERLACH
311 PM PST SUN NOV 22 2015

...WINTER WEATHER IMPACTS LIKELY FOR THE UPCOMING HOLIDAY WEEK...

AN UNUSUALLY COLD WINTER STORM FOR LATE NOVEMBER WILL MOVE INTO
THE SIERRA AND WESTERN NEVADA TUESDAY THEN LINGER THROUGH THE
REMAINDER OF THE WEEK.

WINDS TUESDAY: STRONG GUSTY WINDS WILL CREATE SIGNIFICANT
TURBULENCE FOR ANYONE FLYING IN FOR THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY.
STRONG CROSS WINDS OF 50 MPH OR MORE ARE ALSO POSSIBLE ALONG
HIGHWAY 395 MAKING TRAVEL HAZARDOUS FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.
BLOWING DUST MAY PRODUCE PERIODS OF POOR VISIBILITY IN THE BASIN
AND RANGE INCLUDING THE LOVELOCK...FALLON...FERNLEY AND SILVER
SPRINGS AREAS.

SNOW TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY: A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL SWEEP SOUTH
DURING THE DAY TUESDAY AND USHER IN MUCH COLDER AIR ALONG WITH
PERIODS OF SNOW. SNOW LEVELS MAY FALL AS LOW AS 2000 FEET LEADING
TO A SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER COMMUTE TIME FOR THOSE TRAVELING DOWN
THE WESTERN SIERRA SLOPES AND ACROSS WESTERN NEVADA. IN THE
HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE SIERRA...ONE FOOT OR MORE OF SNOW IS
POSSIBLE FROM TUESDAY THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY. IN THE SIERRA
VALLEYS...UP TO 10 INCHES IS POSSIBLE. IN THE LOWER VALLEYS OF
NORTHEAST CALIFORNIA AND WESTERN NEVADA UP TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW IS
POSSIBLE. THOSE WITH TRAVEL PLANS IN THE SIERRA SHOULD CONSIDER
ALTERNATE ROUTES AND DEPARTURE TIMES.

COLD WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: MUCH COLDER AIR SETTLES OVER THE
REGION FROM TUESDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY. HIGHS ARE FORECAST TO
REMAIN IN THE 20S IN THE SIERRA VALLEYS AND UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S
ACROSS WESTERN NEVADA AND NORTHEAST CALIFORNIA. THIS WILL THE BE
COLDEST AIR THUS FAR THIS SEASON AND POSSIBLY THE COLDEST PERIOD
OF WEATHER SINCE JANUARY 2013. PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE MADE EARLY
TO PROTECT POORLY INSULATED WATER LINES...LIVESTOCK AND OUTDOOR
PETS FROM COLD RELATED PROBLEMS. THOSE HEADING OUTDOORS SHOULD
DRESS PROPERLY...WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES IN THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS
MAY FALL AS LOW AS 20 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.

THERE ARE SOME UNCERTAINTIES WITH THE TRACK OF THE STORM AND THIS
WILL AFFECT SNOW TOTALS. CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY FOR UPDATES TO
FORECAST SNOW TOTALS ALONG WITH MORE INFORMATION ON THE WINDS
AHEAD OF THE STORM AND THE COLD TEMPERATURES LATER IN THE WEEK.
CARRY AN EMERGENCY TRAVEL KIT IN YOUR VEHICLE IF YOU MUST TRAVEL.

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5 thoughts on “Winter Storm Watch for California | 100mph Winds, 6-18″ of Snow, Coldest Temps Since 2013

  1. Why do you not report on BearValley Ski area in Alpine County? And Dodge Ridge in Tuolumne County? I know they’re smaller resorts, but the local Economies could sure benefit from any exposure.

    1. Kaaren, you’ve got a point. I learned how to ski at Bear and Dodge and I need to show them some love. I’ll fit them into future CA weather forecasts. Thanks.

  2. Please stop hyping the weather reports. The Sierra regularly sees 100 mph winds during storms, coldest air since 2013 don’t mean much and El Niño weather has not yet affected CA this year.

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