Winter weather on its way | SierraSun.com

Winter weather on its way

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Greyson Howard/Sierra Sun

Optimistic weather outlooks for the weekend say over a foot of snow could fall at higher elevations around Tahoe.

“We are looking for a large change in the weather,” said Jessica Kielhorn at the National Weather Service in Reno. “It should be wet and cool this weekend and into early next week.”

The Truckee-Tahoe could see three waves of weather, starting on the warm side but getting progressively cooler, Kielhorn said.

“The main system should enter Saturday afternoon starting of with rain in the Basin and snow levels at 8,000 feet,” Kielhorn said.

Snow level could drop down to lake level late Sunday, she said.

A third system Monday would be even colder, but moisture is less certain, she said.

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“Overall we’re looking at a total of two to three inches of rain in the Basin and above 8,000 feet a foot or more of snow,” Kielhorn said. “Mount Rose could get one to one-and-a-half feet.”

But beyond that the future isn’t so clear.

“There is nothing out there giving us high confidence either way,” said Jim Wallmann, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno.

Calfire won’t make an official decision on the end of fire season until next week, once the precipitation totals for the storm are in, said Chelsea Fox, spokeswoman with Calfire.

“It depends on how much precipitation we get, we’re looking for two or three inches of continuous rain or snow,” Fox said.

As the fire danger goes down, Calfire will start reducing staffing at local stations, laying off seasonal workers, and closing fire lookouts, Fox said.

Calfire will also decrease burning restrictions in the area Nov. 3.

To find out about burning in the Truckee area, call 582-1027, or 889-6868 in Placer County.

Even without significant precipitation, local water stores are already refilling, said Rick Lierman, general manager for the Squaw Valley Public Service District.

“This time of year the aquifers are recharging even though there has been no significant rainfall,” Lierman said. “That’s due to the plants no longer taking up water.”

The district’s water supply is two feet higher than historic lows as the dry season ends, which Lierman says is pretty a significant amount.

Likewise, Truckee’s deep aquifers in the Martis Valley are at normal levels, said Steve Poncelet, public information officer and conservation manager for the Truckee Donner Public Utility District.