** Biggest storms of the year to impact Nor Cal Wednesday, lasting through the weekend! **
49°F – Outlook and Forecast – Weak high pressure over Nor Cal Monday kept the storm track just to our north, with light showers in far northern California and Oregon. That will change Wednesday as the jet stream will dive south, ushering a strong storm onto the coast early Wednesday morning, spreading into the foothills and Sierra, bringing heavy rain, strong winds, 40+ mph in the foothills, 100+ mph winds with 3+ ft snow over the Sierra ridgetops, and up to 1 foot in the Lake Tahoe, Truckee areas! Rainfall in the foothills could total 2.5 to over 3 inches by Thursday night, with additional precip moving in for the weekend.
This will be the strongest storm we’ve seen this year so far and will likely be the best snow producer for the Sierra that we’ve seen in several years, as an atmospheric river with abundant moisture drops into Nor Cal late Wednesday into Thursday (see graphic). Colder air behind the storm may drop snow levels into the upper foothills (3000-4000 ft) late Saturday into Sunday with some minor accumulations possible.
Additional storms are forecast to impact the area Saturday into Sunday. These storms will be colder with snow levels once again dropping into the upper foothills. More details on the weekend forecast in the next couple of days.
For now: Expect partly to mostly cloudy skies Tuesday and Tuesday night in the foothills with a chance of showers moving in early Wednesday. Rain increasing, heavy at times late morning, lasting into the overnight hours. Strong winds 25-40+ mph may cause downed branches and trees with the risk for power outages.
Rain continues Wednesday night into Thursday and Friday. Saturday looks unsettled, with more rain and upper foothill snow. Snow levels in the Sierra will start around 9000 ft early Wednesday, lowering to 7000 ft Wednesday night, 6000 ft Thursday morning, lowering further to around 4000 ft Thurs night into Friday. Snow levels may fall as low as 3000-4000 ft over the weekend.
Winter Storm warnings are up for the Sierra late Wednesday, through Thursday night for very heavy snow and wind. Very poor driving conditions over the Sierra are likely late Wednesday, lasting through the weekend. Chain controls and road closures are also likely, so travel into the Sierra from late Wednesday on is not recommended.
Interestingly, the latest 7 day precip forecast shows 7-9 inches of foothill rain is possible by Monday of next week. So, that should put a nice little dent in the drought! I think I’ll go down to the lake and take some before and after pics of the lake and post here. It’ll be interesting to see the rise in the lake over the next 7-10 days.
Stay tuned to the latest developments and local weather and road conditions right here at Cascade Shores Weather. Enjoy your evening!