Weekend Forecast for 2/28/2015 – 3/1/2015:
From Dan Tackett, Sugar Bowl National Ski Patrol Meteorologist Extraordinaire
Updated Thursday, February 26th, 9:20 am
The low pressure system that moved through the Northern Sierra last Sunday brought plenty of cold air and gusty winds, but forgot to pack the snow. Snow showers didn’t appear until the system was south of Lake Tahoe. Moisture pulled in off the Southern California coast brought Sunday through Monday accumulations of nearly a foot in the far Southern Sierra and several inches to the mountains of Los Angeles and San Diego counties. Trying to get snow to fall on our resort has become downright difficult this season. Two months are nearly in the books for 2015 and only one precipitation event has reached the slopes. A slight change in the pattern will attempt to bring one more event in the final 2 days of February.
Last Monday remained cold at the resort with temperatures moderating on Tuesday. The high pressure ridge that’s kept us dry so far this week will back-track into the Eastern Pacific on Thursday and allow a system to approach from the northwest. High clouds are already making their way into Northern California and those will thicken Thursday night. The system doesn’t hold much moisture, but at least it’s cold. Snow level problems won’t be hindering the resort for a change. Snow chances begin on Friday with snow showers likely in the afternoon and overnight. Temperatures will steady out into the 20s.
Accumulations by sunrise Saturday are expected to be in the 3-6 inch range. In a normal year, quite ho-hum, this time around, we’ll take what we can get. Snow showers will continue through the day as cool and unstable air behind the cold front moves through. Some of the afternoon snow showers may become briefly heavy with an outside chance of lightning, although most thunderstorm activity will be below 5000 feet. Additional accumulations during the day may mount up to 2-4 inches. Little or no additional accumulations are expected overnight as the system slides into Southern California. Temperatures continue to be mostly in the 20s with winds being relatively light.
Partly cloudy on Sunday as all precipitation activity will be to our south. Temperatures will remain cool and relatively close to normal.
Clouds increase on Monday as another low moisture system drops down from the north. This type of pattern delivers weather systems that travel quite a bit over land with not much interaction with the ocean. Snow shower chances begin in the afternoon and continue into early Tuesday morning. Even with a favorable track, no more than a couple of inches are expected out of the event. Northeast to easterly winds are expected to pick up and become gusty late Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures will continue to be cool. Dry conditions are expected on Wednesday.
Sugar Bowl Snow Depths as of Thursday morning, February 26th:
Station A (near the base of Crow’s Nest Chair): 6 inches. Last year at this time: 11 inches.
Station B (between Calif St & Station B runs): 51 inches. Last year at this time: 70 inches.
Current Truckee River Drainage Snowpack Water Equivalent: 33%
Weekend Forecast for 2/28/2015-3/1/2015:
Cloudy with snow showers on Saturday. A slight chance of afternoon thunder. Expected daytime accumulations of 2-4 inches. Temperatures steady in the 20s. Variable ridge winds to 20 mph.
Partly cloudy on Sunday. Lows in the upper teens to mid 20s, highs in the mid 20s to mid 30s. Light winds.
Weekend Travel Weather:
A good chance of chain controls beginning Friday afternoon, the only chance to avoid them would be an early start. Friday night through late Saturday night could have chain controls at any time. Conditions improve Sunday morning with the afternoon drive down the mountain not expected to have weather related problems.
Light accumulations possible Monday night, no significant storms thereafter.
Have a Great Weekend,