A large storm will pick up ample sub-tropical moisture and should bring very wet weather to the Sierra and Western Nevada. This one is tricky to say the least. As of now, it looks like snow levels could be as high as 9,000 feet for most of this event as the storm taps into a very warm moisture flow from the south. Much of the Sierra could pick up in the 6-10 inch range (liquid precip). If those snow levels could drop down to 8,000, this will build a terrific base in the higher altitude ski areas, like Mt. Rose and Mammoth. The lake level areas like Squaw Valley will see almost all rain on the lower mountain as things look right now.
I have charted what is forecast by the GFS weather model for Saturday. There is a giant storm to our north that is picking up sub tropical moisture from our southwest and bringing that to Tahoe and especially the western crest of the lake.
Bands of heavy precip will start Thursday night and last through Sunday. The valley's will pick up much needed rain. Here is a look at the precip forecast through Monday. The map only goes up to 5 inches of liquid precip, but the conventional wisdom is that is low end for all of Tahoe. This is the EC model, the GFS is calling for more wind and less precip but at least 4-8 inches around all of Tahoe.
The biggest concern over at the NWS is wind which should start Thursday as well.
I will keep a close eye on this, pray for cold this could be the big one we have been waiting for!
Stay Tuned ...