Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cold, Wet & Wintery.

Lows in the 20s in the inland valleys, with lows in the 30s out by the coast tonight.  Protect your sensitive plants and be sure your outdoor pets have a warm place to sleep.  And actually, things warm up as the next storm system approaches late on Wednesday.  This first round will bring copious rain across the region, with the heaviest rain falling mid day Thursday through mid morning Friday.  We will be in the 1.5" zone, give or take, and areas in the local mountains could exceed three inches.

Yesterday I was asked about snow.  In the Sierra.  It does look like we will get widespread rain up to about 7000 feet, with snow levels dropping below that only very early in the storm and at its tail end on Friday.  While the heaviest precip is falling, freezing levels are expected to be between 7k and 9k.  That is pretty high, as only four resorts have lifts that go above 9000 feet in Tahoe.  For places like Rose and Kirkwood, with their higher bases, there is potential for top to bottom snow.  About a foot at the bases (due to high snow levels t time allowing only for rain) and up to 2 1/2 at their peaks (where it should be all snow through the entire event).  The good news is that snow levels are expected to drop starting late Thurs/early Fri.  This will allow the storm to set up correctly with the densest snow  at the bottom, with fluff on top.

Then, for the weekend, it currently looks fair.  We could see a little bit of rain and mountain snow, but it looks like that moisture will fall else where.  Starting as early as Sunday night, a series of small systems begin hitting the coast just to the north of SF.  These storms will slowly push south during the week, bringing us increasingly heavy rain when they do.  I'm looking out into that fantasy range of 8, 10, 12, plus days out, but it looks like it could be a wet week ahead.  Not just a one or two day system, but next Monday through the next 7 days has a variety of wet solutions.  In fact, by Saturday the 17th, the models would have you believe the entire state is getting a solid wetting.  How cool would that be?  More on that as we get closer.

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