Soaking Rains for California, Heavy Mountain Snow for the Sierra, Starts Tuesday

A rather large and extremely beneficial storm is expected to come in on Tuesday and stick around for 4-5 days bringing wave after wave of moisture to almost the entire state of California and heavy mountain snow to the Sierra.

Our current system is trying hard to produce. The first wave went by us to the west and north and the second wave is missing us to the south. However, I think the Carson Range could pick up around 3-6 (at most) inches of snow tonight and early tomorrow morning.

Before we get into the forecast, if you did not see this earlier, we were sent a video of Ski Patrol doing avalanche control in the Chutes of Mt. Rose last week. I have been asked to post it again, it is pretty amazing.

Mt. Rose Chutes Avalanche Control

We have a giant trough of Low Pressure headed our way. Although the models are not in total agreement, we believe here at TWB that this will be a major winter storm for the Sierra and Carson Range. Here are the details:

Tuesday at Noon (3/13)

Wednesday at 2:00pm (3/14)

These two waves will provide near constant snow for around 48 hours, then we will get a short break that will last perhaps 12 hours. Then the front moves straight down the coast.

Friday at 4:00am (3/16)

Friday at 4:00pm (3/16)

The chance for heavy precip should stick around through Saturday the 17th.

We are not seeing our persistent ridge of high pressure moving back in yet, so that means even after this major weather event the storm door appears to be remaining open.

Snow levels are a bit tricky on this one. First let's look at the precip totals:

Most of the Sierra and Carson Range are in the 4-6 inch range. That is liquid precip. The higher this number gets, the higher the snow elevation. It just depends how much sub-tropical moisture this thing pulls up. This is a very dynamic storm and we will do something we rarely do, which is report during the storm.

Right now this looks like all snow for all of Mt. Rose. The very first wave could come in at 7,000 feet, but that will quickly fall. We are in the spring of the year and the sun is much warmer than in December and January, so that will also raise snow levels.

If all goes well, this could produce another 3-6 feet of snow for the Carson Range and maybe more than that for the Sierra resorts. A quick disclaimer: The NWS is not as bullish on this storm as we are, so maybe they see something that we don't!

Stay Tuned ...