Wave 2 of our 3 wave storm is all snow above 7,500 feet according to the NWS. Snow levels may actually drop down to 7,000 feet as this wave progresses. Mt. Rose has already picked up between 12-18 inches of snow and that amount should increase to around 2-3 feet of very wet snow. Perfect to form a base. That is the good news, the bad news is that the NWS believes the next storm, which is even larger than the last two, will have a snow level between 9,000 and 10,000 feet. Areas like Slide Mountain and the western Sierra Crest are going to get 5+ inches of precipitable water out of this storm. I am not going to guess what that will do to the snow but it is obviously not good. We will just have to see how it shakes out. In the meantime, the Truckee River is going to flood with all this moisture. I believe minor flooding, but you should be prepared. All small streams and creeks have the potential for flooding, so if you live near White's, Galena, Thomas or other creeks, be prepared. This is a big storm!
I have attached a satellite photo of this storm and I have to say this is pretty impressive. The moisture tail goes half way across the Pacific or a quarter of the planet. The low pressure system is large and located perfectly to bring copious amounts of moisture to our area.
The precipitation is going to continue through most of Monday and then another storm is lined up for Tuesday night into Wednesday. This storm will have much cooler air to work with and far less moisture. It should blanket Slide Mountain with a fresh 6-12 inches of much drier snow. Of course, this type of dry snow sitting on wet Sierra Cement will cause Avalanche hazards in the highest elevations, so check the Avalanche site. There is a link to that site over on the right side of this web page.
One more note for those of you who live in wind prone areas on the leeward (east) side of the Carson Range, like Galena and Arrow Creek. The top wind last night was just shy of 100 mph. Luckily the moisture came in around 2:00am and really decreased the winds. This same event is set up for very late Saturday night and it looks like we could even have stronger winds, so be prepared.
My next post will look down the road tell you what you can expect (hope for) in the coming month, including my first shot at a Christmas forecast.
Stay Tuned ...