Here is the latest update from the Tahoe Weather Geek

The first big winter storm of the new year is bearing down on California this morning and could bring a foot or more of new snow to the Sierra by Wednesday.

The storm is expected to arrive in two pulses. The first will be Tuesday morning, and the second and stronger wave is forecast for later Tuesday into Wednesday. Snow levels with the first wave will begin at around or above 7000 feet. Levels will drop later Tuesday to below 6000 feet.

The forecast is calling for high winds, with gusts around 100 mph at the Sierra Crest, and about 1.5 inches of precipitation. This won’t be a terribly cold storm, so count on snow to water ratios of about 10 to 1 to 15 to 1. That means 1.5 inches of water would translate into 15 to 20 inches  of snow above 7000 feet elevation.

At least one forecast model is showing snow totals of two to three feet through the period, but that model is an outlier at the moment. Let’s hope it turns out to be on the mark and the other computer scenarios are underplaying the storm’s potential.

After some clearing Thursday and Friday it looks like next weekend could also be stormy or at least unsettled, and that could be the pattern for a week or more. The second half of January is definitely going to be wetter than the first half of the month.

See the Weather Geek’s page at for frequent updates as these storms move in.