Following just a 3-day break from the rain and snow that has dominated weather patterns in Northern California in December, yet another series of storms are forecast for the region this week. These storms could bring another 10 feet of snow to the NorCal mountains.
The National Weather Service released its forecast for the week and it includes heavy snowfall in the high-elevation areas of NorCal beginning on Tuesday and lasting through Christmas. Snow will fall for 6-straight days bringing 4 feet to Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Lassen, as well as 2 feet for Mount Shasta. Echo Summit could exceed 60 inches and Donner Summit is forecast for 100+ inches.
The biggest component of this storm will be the Holiday travel difficulties destined for the region. Vehicular travel in high-elevation areas, especially over the Echo Summit and Donner Pass near Tahoe, will be very difficult if not impossible. Chain controls and full closures are likely through the week, especially from Wednesday through Saturday.
On social media, the NWS even made a joke this storm could strand some travelers, likely the famous story from Donner Pass.”Those living in the mountains should stock up with extra food so we don’t have any Donner Party like stories in a few weeks,” wrote the NWS on Twitter.
Of course, these storms will also bring plenty of rain to the valley. If you have any Holiday plans outside, you might want to cancel them to stay in the comfort of your home.
These storms will bring more snowpack to an already historic month in NorCal. Nearly constant precipitation has put the Sierra snowpack on pace for a record year. Just two weeks ago, Sierra snowpack sat at a measly 17 percent of normal. Now, snowpack sits at 98 of normal with the massive storm system on its way. It’s been a much-needed turnaround from extreme drought the past two years.
Hopefully, everyone will have a safe Holiday season. Enjoy your white Christmas!