Depending on what elevation you’re at in California, you might need a pontoon boat or pontoon skis this weekend. A strong Jetstream pulling in copious amounts of precipitation from across the Pacific Ocean will be taking direct aim at the Northern half of California.
A large area of low pressure spinning off the coast of the Pacific Northwest will direct three storms into the West Coast starting Wednesday and lasting through Sunday. The first storm for Wednesday is already dropping a quick three to six inches on the Cascades and Sierra Nevada.
Two much stronger storms will follow on Friday into Saturday and again Saturday into Sunday. Since the source of the precipitation is from the Tropical Pacific, the snow levels will be a little high until a cold front drops the snow levels on Sunday. Snow levels will range from 4,000 to 5,000 feet in Washington, 5,000 to 6,000 feet in Oregon, and 7,000 to 8,000 feet for the Sierra.
Above those levels we will see massive amounts of snowfall. For the Cascades, we are looking at two to four feet of snow through Sunday. Further South in the Sierra, we could see three to seven feet of snow on the upper half of the mountains. On Sunday, a cold front pushes through dropping snow levels to the base of the mountains and we could see several inches of snow before the storms clear out.
There will be a brief break in the action on Monday and Tuesday before the next storm moves into the Pacific Northwest by midweek. Currently this looks like a warmer storm with high snow levels. Further South into the Sierra, we could see a break in the storms for about a week before they resume again.
Bryan Allegretto is a Weather Forecaster for OpenSnow.com.