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Sierra Monster?

post #1 of 152
Thread Starter 

Is anyone tracking the storm forecast for the central Sierra?  This doesn't come under the "Jinx" category, the forecast is predicting FEET of rain in the foothills through early next week  Snow elevations are critical, but currently, it looks like snow levels will start off near 7500  feet starting Friday, and eventually dropping from there.  This storm goes at least through Tuesday.  The potential at the resort elevations are incredible to say the least, assuming you can get there. 

 

As we approach Christmas holidays we are looking well in excess of 10 feet of well consolidated snow, and hopefully some powder on top as the week moves on.  We saw accumulations like this in 1997 and 2004, and we are talking about total burial of major features on the slopes.  Lets hope for lower snow elevations.  As I write this the Bureau of Reclamation is making huge reservoir releases to make room for runoff from this event.and the State is preparing for significant lowland flooding potential.  Mountain travel will become difficult, and we have seen in the past, road and rail closures and even ski area shutdowns when snow and avy conditions build to unmanageable levels. 

 

Thinking of booking a last minute holiday trip?  Its looking pretty good in the West.

 

4L.jpg?1292398635702

post #2 of 152
Keeping my fingers crossed, as I am scheduled to spend the whole next week at Tahoe...smile.gif
post #3 of 152

Me too.  Planning to take the family up Friday.  Trip's been on the calendar for months.  For various reasons we can't leave the peninsula before about 5PM.  I hope we don't get screwed driving.  I can deal with chains, but road closure will not be fun for the kids.

post #4 of 152
Thread Starter 

I think you will be fine on Friday, but by Sunday, all bets are off in both directions.  Snow levels are critical with these systems coming in.  Hopefully they stay below 7500 feet.  Some forecasts show levels rising to 9000 feet as the storm progresses, then falling later in the storm cycle.  The current forecast is predicting the potential for a "Top five all-time precipitation event".  Cold air is the key to whether we get great skiing, or are dealing with record floods.

 

ALIR.JPG

post #5 of 152

Xela- My advice is always to try to travel outside the regular commute hours (I guess Epic readership is not as large to screw up my neat commute secret).  Lots of folks will leave the Peninsula at 5 and lots more will join along the way.  We always try to leave after dinner on Fridays- that way kids sleep in the car all the way, and the rush hour traffic subsides.  Often we are in Truckee after 3 hours flat.  If there is a weather system, you will get stuck on the pass no matter what, so it is much better not to get stuck on the bridge or before Sacramento.  Of course doing that is much easier if you dont have to deal with logistics of a weekend rental.  But the skiing should be good and Friday looks not too bad.  Just dont count 100% on coming back on Sunday ;-)  

 

Cirque- If the snow level is at 9,000 it is going to be a total disaster, so I hope it stays at least at 7,500, which would still mean rain at the lake level.  

post #6 of 152
Thread Starter 

Friday evening is looking kind of sketchy.  Get ahead of the storm if you can.  Snow levels on Friday are progged at 5000-6000 feet with 3-6 feet through Sunday morning.  A heavier storm then moves in Monday into Tuesday.  If you can be over the pass by 3:00 PM rather than just starting out, I think it would be a much easier drive.

post #7 of 152

We are leaving Berkeley at 11am on Friday at the latest.  Staying for a school event in the morning.  If the forecast speeds up we are taking off on Thursday night, with some sadness from the 

kindergartener in the vehicle. 

 

The SUV will be packed with food.  This looks like one of those storm cycles were the Truckee/Tahoe City stores run out of food.

 

If you are going up, tank up the vehicle by Colfax, again when you arrive in town and make sure you have plenty of food.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Xela- My advice is always to try to travel outside the regular commute hours (I guess Epic readership is not as large to screw up my neat commute secret).  Lots of folks will leave the Peninsula at 5 and lots more will join along the way.  We always try to leave after dinner on Fridays- that way kids sleep in the car all the way, and the rush hour traffic subsides.  Often we are in Truckee after 3 hours flat.  If there is a weather system, you will get stuck on the pass no matter what, so it is much better not to get stuck on the bridge or before Sacramento.

We have dinner and leave Berkeley at 6:45 to catch the last 15 minutes of diamond lane to the bridge.  Kids sleep, giving me a quiet drive.  Typically just over 3 hrs door to door with the destination being in Tahoe City/Sunnyside or the Alpine Meadows Condos one year.

 

One note on that is if you can pass through Berkeley by 2pm on Friday, you typically can have the same 3 hr drive.  A 2pm departure from Berkeley missing the Sacramento traffic.  A 3:30pm departure catches the Sacramento traffic.


 

post #8 of 152

I normally follow alexzn's plan.  With the storm, I wanted to get going earlier.  The problem is that my wife won't return from a business trip until 5:00.  I thought we might get around traffic by taking 580 out to I-5.  I'm really not sure what's best, but I think the earlier I leave the earlier I'll get there.

 

I'm not worrying about getting through unless they close I-80.  Anyone know what the criteria are for them doing that?  I guess it just takes one good accident, but what about weather?  I hope they've got their whole fleet of plows operational.

post #9 of 152

I was planning on heading up Monday, but may have to wait now. In the meantime, guess I should buy some chains for the car.

post #10 of 152

I'm planning on heading up no later than 6am Friday and spending two glorious weeks at Alpine.

post #11 of 152

I have a business meeting in Palo Alto at least until 3pm, so we are stuck in the Bay Area until the evening... It is looking like a decent size mess...  We were planning to take up two cars since we are going up for a week, but may end up going in one.

 

Xela-  580 out to I-5 is notoriously congested over the Altamont pass in Livermore-Tracy area.  I'd volunteer to say that going there on a Friday afternoon is a bad idea.

 

Alex

post #12 of 152

 Cirquerider says, " As I write this the Bureau of Reclamation is making huge reservoir releases to make room for runoff from this event.and the State is preparing for significant lowland flooding potential. "  I remember when part of the area around Tracy and Modesto was once under water (literally) after a spring run-off.  We all know how weak the California levees are.  If this snow keep coming...

 

Well, I'm scheduled to ski the 7% Utah snow this weekend.  Maybe I'll just stick around and ski Lake Tahoe.

post #13 of 152

We'll be at the shop. Hope to shoot out for a couple of runs at some point though. 

post #14 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

We'll be at the shop. Hope to shoot out for a couple of runs at some point though. 


 

Alas, the danger of snow falling during the busiest time of the year for those in retail. Don't worry though - you have have happy thoughts of the East Coast bears (philly contingent) hitting the awesomess of early season Elk this wekeend. Guess we should have planned a Noofus 30th birthday destination bash instead of staying local!! Happy snows!
 

post #15 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

We'll be at the shop. Hope to shoot out for a couple of runs at some point though. 


I'll be swinging by tomorrow morning to pick up the boys' race skis.  See you then.

 

 

FYI, all, NOAA is now predicting 58-84" at Alpine's midslope by Sunday afternoon.  And through Tuesday, they're anticipating 10.0" of precipitable water content north of the Lake, 10.7" south.

 

p120i12.gif

post #16 of 152
Thread Starter 

Phil, I might need those Phat skis now.

post #17 of 152

Looks like there is going to be a sad 5 yr old.  We are heading up tonight.   

 

With a noon storm warning, we could not stay for the school event and make it over the pass before the warning started.

 

post #18 of 152
Surprised people are in a hurry to get up there for the blizzard this weekend. Why not roll up Monday or Tuesday when the conditions should be skiable?
post #19 of 152
Because it will probably good skiing if you make it in

Plus based on the forecast I has seen I would not count on easy drives on on Mon or Tues. Caltrans will get behind and have crew issue after the 3rd straight day. It might take a day after it stops snow to get the road cleared and out of chain control
post #20 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormDay View Post

Plus based on the forecast I has seen I would not count on easy drives on on Mon or Tues. Caltrans will get behind and have crew issue after the 3rd straight day. It might take a day after it stops snow to get the road cleared and out of chain control


That has been my experience with CT, on hwy 50 anyway.

 

Given the predictions, I would expect nothing short of a road closure on 50 some time between Sunday and Monday. Of course, that is just a guess.

post #21 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

We'll be at the shop. Hope to shoot out for a couple of runs at some point though. 


I'll be swinging by tomorrow morning to pick up the boys' POWDER skis.  See you then.

 

 

FYI, all, NOAA is now predicting 58-84" at Alpine's midslope by Sunday afternoon.  And through Tuesday, they're anticipating 10.0" of precipitable water content north of the Lake, 10.7" south.

 

p120i12.gif

FIFY. 
 

post #22 of 152

I have been through these kinds of storms in the sierra before.  Sure there will be some good skiing to be had here & there, but for the most part it will be a shit show.  With winds of 100 mph & feet upon feet of snow not many lifts will be running & the roads will be impassable.  Bring a good shovel, a strong back & be prepared to play cards by candle light...  Enjoy the battle, but I will see you in the late springtime ;).

 

If the snow level gets stuck at 9 or 10000' it will be another story all together.

 

Happy Holidays, give thanks for fat skis & send the leftovers to Utah please,

cool.gif

JF

post #23 of 152


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

I have been through these kinds of storms in the sierra before.  Sure there will be some good skiing to be had here & there, but for the most part it will be a shit show.  With winds of 100 mph & feet upon feet of snow not many lifts will be running & the roads will be impassable.  Bring a good shovel, a strong back & be prepared to play cards by candle light...  Enjoy the battle, but I will see you in the late springtime ;).

 

If the snow level gets stuck at 9 or 10000' it will be another story all together.

 

Happy Holidays, give thanks for fat skis & send the leftovers to Utah please,

cool.gif

JF

 

Jim,

 

Come on! Let us dream!

 

It might be not that bad after all:

 

http://tahoeweatherdiscussion.com/

 

In any case, Fri looks good and I won't miss it!

 

Cheers,

 

cfr
 

post #24 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfr View Post

Jim,

 

Come on! Let us dream!

 

It might be not that bad after all:

 

http://tahoeweatherdiscussion.com/

 

In any case, Fri looks good and I won't miss it!

 

Cheers,

 

cfr
 

Hey, someone has to be the naysayer.  My post was mostly tongue in cheek.  I am actually a little jealous, because I live for blizzard conditions.  I hope the snow levels stay low & everyone fulfills their deep snow Christmas dreams!  I was going to wait till after the new year to mount my new S7's, but after seeing this forecast I went ahead & mounted them today.

I am serious about sending the leftovers my way though!

Thanks & enjoy,

biggrin.gif

JF


 

post #25 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

We'll be at the shop. Hope to shoot out for a couple of runs at some point though. 


I'll be swinging by tomorrow morning to pick up the boys' POWDER skis.  See you then.

FIFY. 


 

Naah -- I've already got their powder skis.  Although if you guys have received the Look AFD pads that Jim S ordered a couple weeks ago, that will help one of them a lot.

post #26 of 152
Thread Starter 

Current models keep the snow below 7000 feet which is a big relief.  I agree that the passes may become impassible by Saturday in to early Sunday, with another major pulse early next week, you need to break out the storm stashes.  The high elevation resorts will be essentially closed out until things settle and avalanche control measures are complete (e.g. Kirkwood),  If you end up at Kirkwood with a place to stay by Saturday, count on being there a while as I suspect both the Spur and Carson Pass will close out.  Best bet in Tahoe?  I'm not saying, but I'll be there with goggles and winter warfare clothing.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

I have been through these kinds of storms in the sierra before.  Sure there will be some good skiing to be had here & there, but for the most part it will be a shit show.  With winds of 100 mph & feet upon feet of snow not many lifts will be running & the roads will be impassable.  Bring a good shovel, a strong back & be prepared to play cards by candle light...  Enjoy the battle, but I will see you in the late springtime ;).

 

If the snow level gets stuck at 9 or 10000' it will be another story all together.

 

Happy Holidays, give thanks for fat skis & send the leftovers to Utah please,

cool.gif

JF

post #27 of 152


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

Hey, someone has to be the naysayer.  My post was mostly tongue in cheek.  I am actually a little jealous, because I live for blizzard conditions.  I hope the snow levels stay low & everyone fulfills their deep snow Christmas dreams!  I was going to wait till after the new year to mount my new S7's, but after seeing this forecast I went ahead & mounted them today.

I am serious about sending the leftovers my way though!

Thanks & enjoy,

biggrin.gif

JF


 


It is Fri, 6am and it is snowing at Tahoe Donner.

 

Hope you get some too - NWS calls for 20" by Sunday night for Snowbasin... Enjoy your new S7's.... Off to to the slopes.

 

 

 

 

post #28 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Best bet in Tahoe?  I'm not saying, but I'll be there with goggles and winter warfare clothing.

 

Homewood biggrin.gif

post #29 of 152
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post



 

Homewood biggrin.gif

 

I was actually thinking of the place where 4ster used to work.
 

post #30 of 152
Thread Starter 

If you add all this up, it gets pretty impressive:

 

Low High
8 12
18 24
8 12
8 12
15 21
5 9
62 90

 

Quote:
Today: Snow. High near 27. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.

Tonight: Snow. Low around 27. Very windy, with a south wind 30 to 35 mph increasing to between 40 and 45 mph. Winds could gust as high as 70 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 18 to 24 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow. High near 32. Windy, with a south wind between 30 and 35 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.

Saturday Night: Snow. Low around 28. Windy, with a south wind between 25 and 30 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.

Sunday: Snow. High near 30. Very windy, with a southwest wind between 40 and 45 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 15 to 21 inches possible.

Sunday Night: Snow. Low around 20. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches possible.
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