Snow expected for the Sierra, locals skeptical
With winter storms few and far between so far this season, ski resorts and businesses are wary to make weather predictions.
A powerful cold winter storm is expected to move through the Sierra mid-week, bringing from one to three feet of fresh snow on Donner Summit, said Shane Snyder, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno. The low-pressure system is making its way down California’s coast from the Gulf of Alaska, he said. However, Snyder said there is a chance the storm might lose some of its momentum if it moves in too fast.
Meanwhile, businesses and ski resorts still hope for more snow.
“The winter hasn’t been very good this year so it’s not clear what the next storm will do,” said Don Edelstein, service manager at Sunnyside Resort in Tahoe City.
It’s tough to say how much snow the Sierra will actually get from the next storm since several past forecasts have been off, said Sugar Bowl Marketing Manager Kristin York. The most recent weather system added three to four feet of snow, providing a great base coverage for skiers and snowboarders over President’s weekend, York said.
The last snowfall really set Sugar Bowl up for the holiday weekend, York said. Although not a record-breaking weekend for the resort ” the sunny weather made for ideal ski conditions, York said.
Julie Maurer, vice president of marketing at Northstar-at-Tahoe, shared similar sentiments on the ski resort’s business over the holiday weekend.
Wednesday’s “storm will be good timing again,” Maurer said. The resort should be busier than normal since many school’s are out this week, she said.
Sunnyside Resort stayed busier over the holiday weekend compared to last year, Edelstein said, but lodging and restaurant reservations “were not tremendous.”
Edelstein said he predicted local businesses will “see some action the following weekend after the storm” passes through.
The snow level is expected to drop to 2,000 feet by Wednesday night into Thursday, with the majority of precipitation from the cold front hitting the area on Thursday into Friday, Snyder said. Temperatures are expected to plunge to the 30s by Thursday with lows in the 20s, he said.
Strong gusts of wind could create white-out conditions over Donner Summit and other high Sierra elevations until the storm clears out of the region on Friday, Snyder said.
The weekend looks clear and there might be some good powder, which would be great news for skiers, Snyder said.