After the New Year, Department of Water Resources officials measured a low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, showing the snowpack at just 67 percent of average. Now, as we enter the third week of 2019, the third massive storm of 2019 is about to slam Northern California, completely healing the dire snowpack situation.
A new storm will enter NorCal on Monday and last through Friday, bringing up to 10 feet of snow in the mountains. The Sierra Nevada near Tahoe and Mammoth will see significant snowfall over the week, with some areas seeing up to 61 inches of new powder.
Once again, it’s Lassen Volcanic National Park that is expected to see the most snowfalls in the area, with the current forecasts showing 113 inches expected on the top of Lassen Peak through Friday. That’s right, nearly 10 feet of snow could fall on the National Park – YEEEHAAWWW!
See the weeklong snow forecast for Lassen from the National Weather Service:
The storm is expected to reach parts of NorCal on Monday evening, with precipitation and snow expected to hit the entire region on Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday, the storm will peak with large accumulation of rain and snow and wind gusts of up to 50 mph.
The wind will be a significant factor during the week. Last week, over 100,000 Sacramento residents lost power during a wind storm. There is a strong possibility wind related incidents could occur again this week:
Rain will once again be prevalent with up to 7 1/2 inches forecast to fall in the valley. Grass Valley is expected to see the brunt of the storm with extreme weather patterns including highs in rain (7 1/2 inches) and wind gusts (50 mph).
That being said, everyone in NorCal will experience a turbulent and wet week:
On the coast, this storm has the potential to bring large swells to the ocean, with waves of up to 25 feet expected off the Humboldt coast.
Travel in high-elevation areas is once again expected to be slow and dangerous. There will likely be chain control and closures on the Sierra Nevada summits, on Highway 89 and I-5 Near Mt. Shasta and all roads surrounding Lassen Park.
This storm has meteorologists all over the area on the edge of their seats as the forecast models have seen the storm increase in size throughout the week. “I have a gut feeling this is going to be a crazy week,” tweeted Northern California meteorologist Rob Carlmark.
This storm will certainly put snowpack and water levels in a healthy situation once again. Three cheers for El Nino!