The Cascades and Olympic ranges have been doing well with snowfall so far this season picking up some of the highest totals in the country. Further South the Tahoe Basin in the Sierra Nevada range just had the driest January-February period on record, thanks to the ridge of high pressure sitting off the California coast pushing storms to into the Pacific Northwest.
That pattern will continue to start this week with a storm moving into the Pacific Northwest on Thursday. This is a warmer storm with snow levels rising above 4,000 feet in Washington and 6,000 feet in Oregon.
On Sunday a much colder storm will drop down from the Gulf of Alaska bringing modest amounts of snow from the Cascades down to the Northern Sierra. Snow totals should be on the order of several inches for the Cascades, with up to a few inches as far South as Lake Tahoe.
Next week the storm door opens a little wider for the West Coast. A large area of low pressure and associate trough will carve their way down the West Coast. This storm is colder and a little stronger with the potential to bring over a foot of snow from the Cascades down to the Central Sierra Nevada. If this storm comes in as forecast it could be the biggest storm since December 26th for the Tahoe Basin.
Winter is not over yet. Many years March is the biggest snow producing month for the mountains of the West Coast. Keep those skis and boards waxed. Taking a peak at the long-range the storms may pick up by mid-month.
Bryan Allegretto is a Weather Forecaster for OpenSnow.com.
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