Tough luck if you were hoping to ski Palisades Tahoe today as the resort just announced they will not be opening due to 100mph+ wind speeds and low visibility. They made the call to close Alpine last night but left it up to this morning on the Palisades side. Up to 12 feet of snow is forecasted for the Tahoe area in coming days so expect operational challenges for resorts around the basin. Be safe out there folks, this a real deal weather event.

Here’s the latest weather report from Palisades Tahoe

Snowfall Report:

As of 5 AM on Friday 11 inches of new snow had fallen at the base and 17 inches on the upper mountain so far, as the storm is just getting started.

Due to the strong winds of over 100 mph and heavy snow, the mountain is closed for Friday, as we expected would happen.

Friday – Sunday Storm:

Looking at the satellite images this morning, we can see the front and jet streak still draped over central CA. That will keep the snow showers going. But the colder moist air will arrive Friday night into Saturday and that is when the mountain orographics will really fire up and snow ratios will increase with the snow piling up faster.

We have ridgetop winds gusting up to 100+ mph on Friday. Highs into the low 30s near the base and 20s for the upper mountain. Then highs only in the 20s for the lower elevations and teens for the peaks Saturday – Sunday. The latest model runs keep the winds gusting up to 70-80+ mph from the WSW through Saturday afternoon, and up to 60-70+ through Sunday.

That means we may not get some upper mountain lifts open at all this weekend. The snow intensity comes down a little on Saturday but convective snow showers still falling with some heavier bands, and snow showers for Sunday.

Additional Snowfall:

The latest model runs show an additional 4 – 7.5 inches of precipitation over the mountain through Sunday night. Snow levels will rise a tiny bit by Friday afternoon ahead of the next surge of heavier precipitation, and then fall overnight to around 2800-3300 ft. by early Saturday morning. Then staying near to below 3000 ft. until later Sunday when they could rise to around 4000 ft.

That means 10-15:1 snow ratios from the base up to the peaks Friday, but increasing to 15-20:1 or better by Saturday morning. Powdery snow piles up faster but also drifts around more. Additional snowfall totals by early Monday morning could be around 4-6 feet near the base, 5-7 feet near mid-mountain, and 6-8 feet up top!

More Snow Monday – Tuesday:

The latest model runs have sped up the arrival of the next storm again. Snow showers could continue Monday but from the moisture from the next storm arriving as the weekend storm exits to the east. Then steadier snow is possible Monday night into Tuesday, and snow showers could linger into Wednesday.

This may keep the gusty winds going with ridgetop gusts up to 60-70+ mph still on Monday, and 50-60+ mph Tuesday. That could continue to delay the opening of the very top of the mountain. Highs into the 30s for the lower elevations and 20s for the upper elevations.

Snow levels could start around 4000-4500 ft. and could rise to around 4500-5000 ft. Monday, dip near 3500-4000 ft. Monday night, rise to around 5500-6000 ft. Tuesday and drop below 5000 ft. Tuesday night. In total for the two days, we could see an additional 6-11 inches of snow near the base and 8-15 inches on the mountain.

Long-Range Forecast:

Snow showers could linger into Wednesday. Then high pressure is forecast to build in later in the week into Saturday the 9th. That could bring us a few drier days with some sun and slightly milder temperatures.

A final trough is still forecast to dig into the West Coast around the 10th-11th which could bring us a final cold storm.

The long-range models continue to show the patterns shifting as we get closer to mid-month. We could see high-pressure build in near the West Coast with a more prolonged drier pattern possible through mid-month. But if we are on the east side of the ridge we likely won’t get overall warm.

We’ll continue to watch the trends in the long range and will continue to tally up the snowfall totals in the short range.

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