Following a snowy month to begin the winter in late 2019, the early part of 2020 have been somewhat lackluster in terms of precipitation. That looks like it’s about to change with a small storm bringing snow to the mountains Friday night, and a big storm on the horizon next week.
The National Weather Service forecasts a small, cold storm will bring up to 8 inches of snow to the mountains Friday night and Saturday morning, with light rain expected in the valley. The snow will be light, but it’s expected to fall all the way down to 3,500 feet elevation.
Meanwhile, meteorologists are tracking a large storm moving over the Pacific Ocean and expected to slam NorCal next week, with small precipitation on Monday (1/13) building to a large storm on Wednesday and Thursday (1/15 – 1/16). It looks like it will be the biggest storm thus far in the year and one that could bring large amounts of rain and snow to the area.
The California Department of Water Resources conducted its annual New Year snow survey last week, finding that the state’s snowpack is currently at 90 percent of yearly average. While it was a good start to the water year, officials remained cautious of the prospects of another wet winter in NorCal.
“While the series of cold weather storms in November and December has provided a good start to the 2020 snowpack, precipitation in Northern California is still below average for this time of year,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “We must remember how variable California’s climate is and what a profound impact climate change has on our snowpack.”
With the storms this weekend and next week, expect that snowpack to grow significantly in the following week. Welcome to winter, NorCal!