- “Chain controls, major travel delays, and possible road closures. Whiteout conditions are possible.” – National Weather Service
A low pressure system is spinning off the Pacific Ocean and sending FEET of snow to the Sierra Mountains. The forecast for the Sierra Crest is right in line with a typical atmospheric river event and by Monday morning, the upper elevations of resorts such as Squaw Valley, Heavenly, and Northstar could have 2-6 feet of new snow on the ground.
Snow levels will start high (above 7,200′) before lowering tonight to around or near lake level. That trend will continue through the weekend with a forecasted Sunday high sitting around 31 degrees with a low of 23. Further south at Mammoth Mountain, accumulations will be significant albeit not as deep as the areas surrounding Lake Tahoe.
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect from Saturday through Monday morning for NE California, the Greater Lake Tahoe Area, Mono County, and the Reno-Carson City-Minden areas. Snowy and icy roadways are expected during this time, especially for the Monday AM commute. #NVWx #CAWx pic.twitter.com/yodp9gL58B
— NWS Reno (@NWSReno) March 11, 2020
An upper-level low is forecast to spin offshore in the Eastern Pacific Saturday into Sunday,
leading to multiple rounds of precipitation for the Pacific Northwest into the Intermountain West and California. Heavy snow is possible for the Cascades and Sierra Nevada.
⚠️ The biggest snowstorm of the season remains on track to affect the region over the weekend, and continue into Monday. Major travel impacts including road closures, chain controls, and near-whiteout conditions are all likely. Mountain travel is highly discouraged! #CAwx pic.twitter.com/T6L9kmXKQK
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) March 13, 2020
Squaw Valley Forecast:
Mammoth Mountain Forecast:
Winter Storm Warning [Lake Tahoe]
…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM SATURDAY TO 5 PM PDT MONDAY ABOVE 3000 FEET…
* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Travel will be very difficult to impossible. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 6 feet above 4000 feet for the Sierra and Southern Cascades, locally higher over peaks. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 12 inches above 3000 feet for the Coastal Range, locally up to 2 feet over peaks. Local accumulations of 4 to 8 inches possible down to around 2500 feet.
* WHERE…West slope of the Northern Sierra Nevada, Southern Cascade Mountain Range, Coastal Range, and portions of the upper Sierra Foothills.
* WHEN…5 AM Saturday to 5 PM Monday.
* WIND…Wind gusts 40 to 60 mph over the Sierra crest.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Chain controls, major travel delays, and possible road closures. Whiteout conditions are possible.
Winter Weather Advisory [Mammoth Mountain]
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM SATURDAY TO 11 AM PDT MONDAY…
* CHANGES…Upgraded from a Winter Storm Watch.
* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of up to 2 to 6 inches east of highway 395, with 4 to 18 inches west of highway 395. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph.
* WHERE…Mono County.
* WHEN…From 8 PM Saturday to 11 AM PDT Monday.
* IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. Very strong winds could cause extensive tree damage.
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