Thursday Dec. 5
The best snow of this young winter season is heading for Tahoe this weekend.
The prospects for the next Sierra storm keep getting better. We are now looking at a very good chance of between 12 and 18 inches of snow at the highest elevations of the Sierra Friday night through Saturday. Some spots along the Sierra Crest could see up to 24 inches.
A low pressure system moving south from the Yukon is expected to pick up a bit of moisture as it sweeps over the Pacific before sliding through the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and California.
The extremely low air temperatures will then turn that water into snow at a ratio of close to 20:1. In other words, for every inch of water, we get 20 inches of snow. And the latest models are showing around an inch of water-content to the precipitation likely to fall along the Sierra Crest. That would translate into at 18 to 20 inches of snow, with 8 inches or more possible around the Lake.
Snow levels will be down to the low foothills Saturday morning and possible the Sacramento Valley.
The snow should start late Friday night and peak early Saturday morning. Highs Saturday will be in the high teens or low 20s around the Lake with lows in the single digits through the weekend.
The storm will be moving east by Saturday afternoon, but the cold north flow will continue into next week, keeping temperatures well below normal.
By Wednesday the Pacific ridge over the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to break down, allowing a low pressure system to move into the Gulf and produce a west flow into the Sierra. This would lead to a slow warming trend, bringing Sierra highs back into the 40s.
That shift will also direct the storm track into Western Canada through mid week before a system late in the week drops down into California, with a good chance for another round of rain and snow.
Check www.tahoeloco.com for updates.