First "Sizable" Sierra Storm approaching the Winter of 2018?

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 17 October 2017



First "Sizable" Sierra Snow Storm?

Rain & Snow Forecast Thurs Night through Daylight Hours of Friday

Wet weather coming to Mother Lode from Gulf of Alaska,
Union Democrat, October 16, 2017.


This will be the third and strongest of snow events in the Sierra approaching the Winter of 2018. The first two were unexpected little local Lows that laid down some snow. Sweet. This one comes out of Gulf Alaska, as is traditional for the Sierra Nevada. Sweet.


It's a Sierra surprise; Second Closure in 2017 of Sonora Pass


We need rain to break drastic fire conditions up and down the West Coast of the US, from the Pacific Coast to the Sierra Crest. Everything in-between has all been drastically hot & dry.

I have been watching the low dragging this dissolving front towards us, thinking, "that's going to get pushed further North than they expect." Initial forecast was for light rain on Wednesday, but was pushed back to Thurs. and Fri. I would be ready for this weak front's worse, most powerful potential, but not surprised at all if this instability weakens further and passes to our North.

That means this weather could be more dangerous. The failure of snow typically means cold rain, which is harder to defend/insulate against than cold snow. Thus our gear requirements must favor defense from cold, wet rainy conditions, & wet snow.

A Quick Look

Graphical Interface
Seven Day Rain Forecast
High-Low Temps, Probability of Rain,
with expected Smoke, Rain, and Snow


See All Snow-Precip Forecast Tools

especially the

Weather Prediction Center
Probabilistic Winter Precipitation Guidance

They predict low-probability of snow from Midnight Fri to 6 pm Sat Afternoon.
Highest probability for the whole period is 30%.

Run the Model

Max 3-hr Snow

The model shows 15 hours of limited-area snowfall in the Sierra.

and the

Long Term
Climate Prediction Center 



Real Time View

All Radar

Super-Radar & 7 Day Chances of Freezing

All Satellites



Tracking the Storm Effects across the High Sierra:


Sonora Pass Highway

Tioga Pass Highway

Yosemite Tioga Road report

All Caltrans Reporting Tools

Road News


Watch the Storm
Accumulation between October X & Y
Date-adjustable Snow Tool


All Snow Tools


Snow Sensors

Hwy 108

Sonora Pass

Deadman Creek

Hwy 120

Tuolumne Meadows

Tioga Pass-Dana Meadow


Snow Tools

All Snow Sensors

All Snow Data 



High Sierra Mountain Safety News

High Sierra Hazard Status


Weather Page Index



October 2017 High Sierra Trail News 


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