Holiday Weekend Forecast, 2/17/2018 – 2/19/2018:
From Dan Tackett, Sugar Bowl National Ski Patrol Meteorologist Extraordinaire
Updated Thursday, February 15th, 9:30 pm
Finally have a little snow to discuss since last weekend, but the word ‘little’ is enough said. Sunday’s late afternoon and overnight snowfall brought the total accumulations for February up to 1 inch. The system was quite dynamic, brought a much cooler air mass, but moisture was scarce. The offshore high pressure ridge continues to drive systems far to the north then track them inland into California for little or no precipitation. A few flurries fell in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday from another dry cold front.
The biggest change this week has been the temperatures closer to normal for this time of season. After record setting warmth in early February, this week has seen lows in the teens and highs in the 20s and 30s. The offshore high pressure ridge will strengthen slightly on Friday for more mild temperatures, but not at the levels we saw previously.
Saturday will see one more relatively mild day before conditions take a turn on Sunday. Highs on Saturday will be pleasant, mostly in the upper 30s to mid 40s along with a few afternoon southwest breezes.
The offshore high pressure ridge will shift westward on Saturday night to allow a strong cold front to approach on Sunday. Unfortunately, trending with the other systems of late, the inland trajectory will starve the cold front of its moisture. Snow chances begin as early as the afternoon or hold off until around sunset. Accumulations will only range from a trace up to 2 inches by sunrise Monday. Ironically, if only one inch falls, it will double February’s accumulations. Sunday morning temperatures in the upper 20s to mid 30s will barely rise, then fall in the afternoon. Southwest winds will be gusty through the day.
Partly cloudy on Monday and very cold. Northeasterly winds filling in behind the front may produce below zero wind chills. Definitely a day to bring the warmest gear possible. Morning temperatures in the teens will remain relatively steady through the day. Northeasterly ridge winds to 40 mph will be biting. A chance of flurries during the day, but no accumulations are expected.
The cool temperatures will remain through the week, but moisture will be sparse. No strong accumulations are in the forecast yet. Earlier this season, we had decent storms but not enough cool air. The cool air is here, but now the wet storms are absent. It’s been a frustrating season.
Sugar Bowl Snow Depths as of Thursday, February 15th:
The Base, according to the website: 24 inches. Last year at this time: 103 inches.
The Summit, according to the website: 47 inches. Last year at this time: 182 inches.
Current Truckee River Drainage Snowpack Water Equivalent to Normal: 40%
Holiday Weekend forecast for 2/17/2018-2/19/2018:
Mostly sunny on Saturday. Lows in the mid 20s to mid 30s, highs in the upper 30s to mid 40s. Light afternoon southwest winds.
Increasing clouds on Sunday with a chance of afternoon and evening snow showers. Lows in the upper 20s to mid 30s, remaining steady through around noon, then falling into the 20s in the afternoon. Southwest ridge winds to 50 mph with higher gusts, to 20 mph elsewhere.
Partly cloudy on Monday with a chance of flurries. Temperatures steady in the teens. Northeasterly ridge winds to 40 mph with higher gusts, to 20 mph elsewhere.
Weekend Travel Weather:
No road problems Friday through Sunday morning. Light snow may cause slippery roads Sunday afternoon and evening. Not enough snow expected on Monday to cause much road problems.
Cool through the week with only occasional flurries.
Have a Great Weekend.