Forget February, because it's time for a new month and a new forecast. After a high-pressure ridge dominated the weather cycle throughout the past month, skiers and snowboarders in California should brace for rain and several feet of El Niño snow.
Starting this weekend, Accuweather is predicting rain throughout the state and snow at the higher elevations in several storms. San Francisco's first shot at rain will come on Thursday and spark a 10-day period where coastal areas will see an average of six inches of rain while cities at higher elevations should plan for upwards of 10 inches. Urbanites should prepare for possible flooding, potential mudslides, and travel delays. Skiers and snowboarders should wax their gear, stat. Snow, and a lot of it, is coming.
According to the meteorologists at Open Snow, precipitation in Northern California from Saturday, March 5 through Tuesday, March 8 will be measured in feet. A strong cold front will move into the region Saturday night with heavy snowfall and snow levels at the lake. You can expect 12-18 inches on the mountains Sunday with another 12-18 inches of snow falling through Monday. Then, 4 more moderate to strong storms are on the horizon from Tuesday, March 8 through the following weekend.
In all, Lake Tahoe could see between 50-100 inches through the end of next week.
Mammoth Mountain should also receive plenty of snow, with possible blizzard conditions this weekend. The Mammoth Mountain Weather Guy is predicting 120-150 inches of snow at Mammoth in March. Whoa.
The Los Angeles resorts won't see quite as much moisture as they are farther south than the main atmospheric river event. However, snow is still in the forecast and this should allow the currently-closed Mountain High to reopen.
The high-pressure ridge is history. Get ready for an El Niño March.
- Storms packing 6 inches of rain in 10 days roaring into Bay Area [SF Gate]
- "Miracle March" Snowfall Totals for Western USA Just Keep Getting Bigger [Snow Brains]
- Tahoe Daily Snow [Open Snow]