The weather seems to be the topic of the day. It looks like the scenario that we shared 5 days ago is coming into play for next weekend. Everyone from NOAA to TahoeWeatherDiscussion.com, to conversations on the chairlift are including words like “firehose”, “river of water”, and “pineapple express.” This describes the 8-10 inches of liquid we reported on back on the 20th.
The one thing that is really uncertain is exactly how high snow levels will go on Saturday, or how quickly they will come back down Sunday…and the all important question of how much snow falls at lower elevations before the storm moves on. Mountains with higher peaks are sure to benefit. One Mammoth blogger is already calling for 60 – 80 inches by the weekend.
Here’s the combination of 6-10 day outlooks that may not work out ideally for Alpine Meadows:
Hopefully, snow levels will rise only briefly on Saturday and drop back quickly below 6500 feet by Sunday morning, while there is still enough moisture to bring 2-3 feet of snow.
There are a few things we can probably count on if the forecasts hold true:
• Things may be really soggy for Saturday and there is a good possibility for strong winds with this system too.
• It’s likely we will see some road issues, power issues and wind hold issues
• If snowfall does arrive in huge amounts, expect delays in operations while avalanche and mountain safety concerns are dealt with. Snow this week will be falling on boilerplate ice in many areas. It’s not an ideal situation.
With all of that said – we’re still 5 days out from most of this action. Even the latest NOAA discussion points out some divergence between the most recent GFS and ECMWF models. Clearly, anyone interested in skiing or riding next weekend should keep a close eye on the developing weather pattern.
The earlier storms this week are predicted to leave up to a foot of snow in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame. Midweek skiing may improve dramatically, again with the caveat that off piste conditions are not only icy, but quite bony after warm temps this weekend. Be careful out there!