Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada could be heavier than usual

Snowfall in the Sierra Nevada could be heavier than usual

Southern California mountains see season’s first snow, with another storm forecast for next week

by Tom Morris / Cal Fire

Posted: February 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

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As if to prepare for the snow in the Sierra Nevada next week, forecasters are calling for another storm to develop by late February to wrap up its wetter-than-usual stretch.

The National Weather Service forecasts in a statement Friday afternoon that a strong cold air mass moving across northern California — which has been the most active, due to the El Niño system — will bring significant snowfall to the Central Valley.

More than 30 inches of new snow fell in the foothills over the past two days, including some as much as 3 feet in some parts of the Sierra, forecasters said.

“In the foothills and the Sierra foothills, we’re going to see an increase in the amount of moisture available,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Michael O’Loughlin, in a statement Friday.

One storm looks like it would dump 2 feet of snow by Saturday morning in the Sierra, while another looks at 2 inches by Sunday at Mount Agung, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Lewis. Saturday night, the snowfall could be much heavier in the higher elevations of the Sierra, with 3 to 5 inches possible in the areas covered by the National Parks.

On the Big Bear Lake area, the first storm should have 2 to 4 inches of new snow, Lewis said. He said the second storm looks at 3 to 7 inches of snow.

“The snow will mostly be on the ground by 4 to 5 a.m. and the snow will be falling from around 3:30 to 7:30 a.m.,” Lewis said. “We are expecting the snow to stay on the ground, but we’re also expecting a big wind event.”

The first storm looks like it will bring light snow to the region from Wednesday to Sunday, with 3 to 5 inches expected.

A second storm looks at 5 to 9 inches of snow on Friday, Lewis said.

A storm that’s likely to make it to the Mount Shasta area would bring 10 to 15 inches of snow from Wednesday through Sunday, Lewis said.

By Saturday, the snow

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