It’s going to take more than one storm system to alleviate the drought covering California and Oregon, but the moisture over the next few days will surely make a dent. Up to 5" of liquid equivalent precipitation (rain + melted snow) could fall around the Tahoe area, with perhaps 2" in Oregon. In terms of snow, this might mean 3-4 FEET for Tahoe and 1-2 FEET for Oregon. Yes, powder days are back!
The first push of snow will move through on Thursday night into Friday morning. After a brief lull on Friday morning, heavy snow will fall from Friday night through Monday morning. There might be a few breaks when the heavy snow transitions to moderate or light snow, but most of the weekend will snowy and powdery. Woohoo!
Further north in Washington and British Columbia, some snow could fall Friday night and again Sunday night into Monday, but the heaviest snow during this time will stay further south in Oregon and Tahoe. All hope is not lost, though, as it appears that a strong storm could bring 1-2 FEET of snow to this area on Wednesday, with potentially more later in the week.
Go get some powder!
Joel Gratz is a meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.