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Winter Forecast: Above Average Snowfall in the Sierra and in Northern California

Winter Forecast: Above Average Snowfall in the Sierra and in Northern California

The latest U.S. winter outlook spells trouble for dry California at the end of 2018.

A storm system off the Pacific Coast will likely bring snow to parts of the state in late November and early December, with the potential for more storms over the last few days of November and the first week of December.

A new winter outlook from the National Weather Service (NWS), released on Dec. 18, calls for above average snowfall levels along the coast of California into late January, but with a slight chance of snow in the foothills. The NWS also forecasts above-average snowfall in northern areas, but with light accumulations in places like the Cascade ranges. The winter outlook is for above average temperatures over the eastern half of the state.

A winter outlook for dry California (as of 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30) can be downloaded here.

(If you have a question or feedback about the Northern California forecast for the upcoming winter, please let us know by commenting below. We’re particularly curious to hear from residents in coastal California and residents of the Sierra. We’ll also be looking at the long-range trends in winter weather, and will provide specific forecast observations as they become available.)

The latest winter outlook is based on observations taken in December 2017. It does not include observations on Dec. 14, 18, or 31.

“The winter storm that hit the Pacific Coast in December appears poised to produce above average snowfall in the Sierra and in a few locations across Northern California,” said NWS meteorologist Michael Bell. “This storm will likely remain over the Sierra for a few more days. There’s a pretty good chance we’ll see several feet of snow (with the potential for as much as 20 feet!) up north in the Sierra. We know it will produce some rain and snow in the Northern Sierra, with the potential for locally heavy rainfall in parts of the high country. The forecast is for snow to continue to fall in the Central Sierra through Thursday, with another storm over the Central Valley Friday into Saturday that could bring some heavy snow to parts of northern and central California. This forecast also includes a long-range shift in the timing of the timing of Pacific storm systems. This could shift up to a few days for a few more storms

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