Although the Cascade snowpack is roughly normal this year (which is low for a La Nina year in which we expect it to be above normal), the central Sierra Mountains of central CA have been hit very, very hard.
The Alpine Meadows ski resort near Lake Taho is closed today due to unprecedented snowfall, high high winds and avalanche hazards.
The nearby Squaw Valley has had the greatest seasonal snowfall on record, with 45 inches overnight at 8200 ft.
Snow has even hit lower elevations in northern CA, with highway 101 closed between San Francisco and Eureka.
The good news for California is once they get through Saturday that West Coast trough that has taken the cold and precipitation down into California (and yes, generally away from us) will shift back north. The Northwest should be visited by increased rain and mountain snow next week.
All of the above shows the dangers and uncertainties in an El Nino/La Nina winter forecast. We had expected WA to have above normal snow and the Sierra's less than normal. Hasn't quite worked out that way. Statistical relationships are just that...and having something more probable does not mean it will happen.
But don't give up on the Northwest snowpack---it will probably increase significantly during the next week as the jet moves our way.
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