With the current snowpack sitting at 20-40 percent of average for California and Oregon, many people joked that it would never snow again. I’m happy to report that their jokes brought the snow, as 1-2 FEET is likely to accumulate in Washington, Oregon and California on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The snow will be produced by an extremely moist and energetic storm that is pushing from the Pacific Ocean straight into the coast. At first, warm air associated with the high moisture content of the Pacific air will keep snow levels high. However, as the storms moves through, snow levels should drop and most ski areas will see all snow down to their bases.
Forecasts for individual mountains are impressive, with 10" for Mammoth, 24" for places like Squaw Valley and Kirkwood near Lake Tahoe, 15-20" at Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor in Oregon, and 12-20" across resorts in Washington like Mt. Baker and Crystal Mountain.
Unfortunately, dry weather will return for a week following this storm system, though the computer forecast models are hinting that a snowy pattern might return during the second week of February.
Joel Gratz is a Meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.