It was a stunning sight to see snow begin to fall in Northern California on November 1st. After the storm passed, some mountain areas had received over a foot of snow, a fantastic start to the water year.
Now, early forecasts show another storm on its way that could produce another wall of snow in the mountains, essentially catapulting the region into the winter season.
The storm is currently tracking to hit the region on Saturday and last three to four days, with snow dropping to levels around 5,000 feet on Monday and Tuesday. Early estimates predict 2-4 feet of snow in the Sierra, with the potential for that forecast to upgrade in the coming days.
Here is the precipitation forecast as of Thursday morning:
These early-season storms are extremely helpful for the water year, even if the later months of winter are dry. Last winter saw an increase in overall snowfall in the Sierra, mostly due to the historic December of 2021 that saw over 200 inches of snow. But overall, the water year, and snowfall totals, once again fell short of historic average.
This incoming storm will put an end to wildfire season, one that was thankfully cut short with multiple storms this fall. It will also help to begin refilling the low water levels around NorCal, especially the many lakes that sit below 50 percent capacity.
For skiers and snowboarders, these storms will also start the snowy season on the mountain. Mammoth Mountain already announced an early opening this week. With another hefty snowstorm on the way, others will surely follow suit soon.
Of course, the forecast is still early, so we will keep a close eye on the storm as it approaches. But it looks as if we might be in for a NovemBURIED month. Let’s do this!