The good news is that the latest trends actually have 4 storms coming into our area. The trend is that the snow levels should be much lower for the majority of the event than initially thought. The bad news is that we are not looking at quite as much moisture, but overall expect a major snow event for the Sierra. The crest should pick up between 4-8 feet in the next 7 days. Right now the the upper elevations of the Carson Range look to be in that same area.
Possibility Exists of Heavy Valley Snow on Sunday 1/22
The NWS is looking at a possible Tonopah Low Event. Basically this event is brought on by the weakening of the high pressure which usually prevents storms from spilling over the Sierra. This event has been known to bring very heavy snow to Western NV. The NWS is only considering this as a possibility right now. I will keep an eye on this one.
Storm 1 - Late Wednesday through Thursday
Windy storm that should have snow levels around lake level (6,500 feet).
Storm 2 - Friday afternoon through Saturday Morning
This storm has weakened somewhat. We are also not expecting the same winds associated with this one. Right now we are looking for 2-4 inches of liquid on the Sierra Crest. Very near that amount in the Carson Range is my guess (1-3 feet of snow). This storm will have very high snow levels to start (8,000 feet), those levels will rapidly drop to around 6,000 feet.
Storm 3 - Saturday night Through Sunday
The models only hinted of this storm a few days back. This looks like another wet storm. The key to this storm is snow levels could start out as low as 4,500 feet. The potential exists for this storm to not weaken as it moves out of the mountains, thus a possible valley snow event exists. Possibly 24 hours of heavy to moderate snow in the valley.
Storm 4 - Monday and Tuesday
The models are not in agreement on this storm. It is still a week out. Here is a look at the GFS model which is the more agressive model:
This could be another snow event for the Sierra. The key here is that the center of the ridge of high pressure stays at 135w / 28N. By doing so we can squeeze another wave into the area. I am confident we will get something out of this.
Before venturing out into the back country, be sure to take a look at the Sierra Avalanche Center's website. Sierra Avalanche Center
After the fourth storm, that ridge of high pressure will move north and calm things down. However, indications are that this will be short lived and the storm door could open up again during the first week in February.
Stay Tuned ...