Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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Halloween Storm in the Sierra

Well we weren't going to start posting until later in November, but as usual Mother Nature has her own schedule. We have a nice Fall storm heading our way that will impact the Sierra Friday and Saturday. So pick the warmer of the two Halloween costumes you are deciding between and enjoy some early season snow. 

  • Highest storm totals will be to our south in the southern Sierra. Congratulations Mammoth
  • Up to 1 foot of snow along the crest near Tahoe at the higher elevations
  • Most of the snow will fall Friday evening and overnight into Saturday morning
An Aleutian Low has set up and will move south and east displacing our 3-year nemesis aka the ridge in the process. This low pressure system splits multiple times in the next 48-hours as it moves onshore. This splitting produced a shortwave to our north (Pacific Northwest) and one that will slide further south taking the best moisture and lifting along with it. 

Snow accumulation for the next 72-hours. 95% probability of receiving up to but not exceeding the contoured values. So Truckee has a 95% chance of receiving up to 4" of snow. Image via WPC.

A silver lining with the core of the low pressure system further south is that it will be colder, which means snow levels won't be a problem. Snow levels will begin around 8500' Friday afternoon and ultimately drop below 5000' on Saturday. Snow levels will be between 6000' and 8000' during the heaviest precipitation Friday evening and night. 

The models have been slowly trending to less snow around Tahoe and more snow further south due to the aforementioned reasons. A solid 4-8" will be prevalent around Tahoe especially west of Tahoe near the crest. The southern Sierra will see more than 1' with most areas receiving 8-12" of snow with the highest peaks totaling 12-18". 

It looks like the ridge builds back again after this storm, so hopefully we don't lose all of the snow we will get this weekend. So go out and enjoy your Halloween, but bundle up because it will be cold and snowy. 


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