I always wonder with these early storms if there are hikers out in Desolation who have been out there a week and have no clue there’s a snowstorm about to dump on them. Everything is still on track for our first snow of the season. You can see the cold front headed our way on satellite with the jetstream diving into the base of the front. The NWS has now issued the first Winter Storm Warning of the season for areas above 7000 ft. The warning criteria is 6+ inches in less than 12 hours.

The GFS has continued to pull back a little on total precip with this mornings model showing only .5-.75 inches of total liquid. However, the NAM and Euro models continue to show over an inch of liquid. The precip should begin on the crest by this evening and then into the basin overnight. The snow levels will start around 8000 ft. and then fall continuously until they go below lake level Wednesday morning. The heaviest precip should be done by noon and then just showers before we clear out Wednesday night. The snow showers will stick around longest on the crest.

How fast the snow levels fall vs. how fast the heaviest precip pushes through will make a difference in the 6000-7000 ft. snowfall totals. Right now it is looking pretty unimpressive at lake level by Tahoe standards with only a couple slushy inches possible if the snow levels drop before the sun comes up tomorrow. Temps at lake level will be above freezing throughout the entire event. If the snow falls heavy enough it would drag the snow levels down pretty fast and could cause a brief accumulation before it begins to melt.

As you go up in elevation the snow will start to accumulate much faster. I would expect around 3-6 inches above 7000 ft., and then 6-12 inches above 8000 ft. If the higher precip amounts play out the crest could see 12-18 inches above 8000 ft. We’ll have to see if Squaw reports from high camp. This is definitely not a big storm, but it’s a lot of snow for October 5th and a nice reminder of what is coming.

Sunny & back into the 60′s by the middle of next week. Still looks like a nice cool down around mid-month is in store. Stay tuned….BA

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