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Western Railroad Discussion > Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.


Date: 02/28/24 13:46
Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: weather

All the meteorological ingredients for an impactful and historic snow event are coming together to produce one of the biggest storms in the Sierra Nevada in several years.  A combination of very strong winds and snowfall rates of up to four inches an hour will combine to making travel along I-80 and US 50 impossible for many hours this weekend. Total snowfall accumulations are off the charts with some forecast models showing as much as 10 feet of new snow possible through Sunday at Norden, two miles west of fabled Donner Pass on old US 40, the “Lincoln Highway.”  Avalanche danger all be extreme starting as early as Saturday as light dry powder falls on snow which has tuned to ice during the past 7 days of clear skies in the Sierra. The feet of new snow will begin to slide off the icy snow now on the slopes providing the perfect conditions for huge slides. After a brief break early Monday another storm moves for late Monday and early Tuesday.  Medium range models show an active weather pattern through mid-month. These series of storms guarantee that we will not have a drought going into next year as the States lakes and reservoirs will be at capacity.  Snow levels will be the lowest so far this winter with sticking snow below Colfax on I-80 and Placerville on US 50.  The Siskiyous and the I-5 corridor to the north will see snow down to Lakehead; while to the south, the heaviest snows so far the winter are likely on Cajon and and in the Tehacapis down to three thousand feet. Yosemite Valley could get 4 feet on the Valley floor. The “White Gold” is welcome in the Sierra after many years of drought since the beginning of this Century.  The last time as major avalanche impaced traffic on the Hill, wasthe winter of 2010-11, documented by B renden Compton on his PBS Special  "Avalanche on the Mountian."   You can Google it, or go to Youtube or PBS.  Text and photo by Meteologiost Mike Pechner. (Rotarty image from singal bridge at Norden, Feb. 1975, Copyright, 2016, "All Rights Reserved."

NOTE:  This storm could easily surpass the previous 24 hr. record snowfall of 54" at Soda Springs/Norden established on February 3rd, 1989.




Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/24 18:25 by weather.




Date: 02/28/24 14:15
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: FishinJeeper

Thank you so much for this updated information, Mike!  Speaking for myself and many others on this site, we really appreciate your input and the information that you provide. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/24 14:16 by FishinJeeper.



Date: 02/28/24 15:22
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: sf1010

Mike, I was hoping you would share your insights.  Thanks much!



Date: 02/28/24 15:40
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: WAF

AS always, we will see. As Bill lynch used to say. Mother Nature has her own plan



Date: 02/28/24 15:50
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: SGillings

Mike,

The forecast for southern California is some rain this Friday and Saturday and then no rain until next Wednesday.  And it should not be as bad as a few weeks ago.  So is that Sierra storm going to stall out north of southern California or will it just head east from there?  Thanks.

Stve



Date: 02/28/24 17:58
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: BoilingMan

Sounds like a big one! But I’ve lived up here 30 odd years and it’s taught me well…

Hawaiian Airlines Flt 67 to Kauai, 9:55 tomorrow morning.

Planning is everything…
SR



Date: 02/28/24 18:05
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: RollinB

The 1975 image certainly brings back memories!  

Could you make a prediction for Westwood on the Inside Gateway?

rdb



Date: 02/28/24 18:10
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: weather

Holy Cow Jack!  You are fleeing the mainland!



Date: 02/28/24 18:18
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: weather

Since they are east of the Crest, snowfall should be half of what they get at  Norden.  On the low end, 3 to 4 feet. BNSF will definetly will need the spreaders beginning Friday and if rtraffic is slow, wouldn't be a bad idea to put an extra engine because of the build-up and snow over the rails. Snowfall should come at at least 2" an hour with plenty of blowing and drifting. More snow late Monday and Tuesday. Nice to hear from you.



Date: 02/28/24 18:39
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: weather

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> AS always, we will see. As Bill lynch used to say.
> Mother Nature has her own plan

He also said, "plan for the worst and hope for the best!"



Date: 02/28/24 20:01
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: DocJones

Get the rotaries!

Have fun, be safe,

Bruce "Doc" Jones.  Sierra Madre CA



Date: 02/28/24 20:24
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: sf1010

Mike, how does this forecast compare to the snow that snatched the "City of San Francisco" in 1952?



Date: 02/28/24 21:51
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: weather

All depends on an avalanche burying a train.



Date: 02/29/24 08:16
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: doge_of_pocopson

Safe travels SR.



Date: 03/01/24 10:19
Re: Historic storm headed for the High Sierra starting tomorrow.
Author: RailRat

Thanks weather for your detailed post!
Just Googled "Avalanche on the Mountain"
Title comes up as "Rotaries Avalanche on the Mountain"

I'm going to watch it tonight as my "Friday movie of the week" while consuming food and beverage
Should be an interesting and good show!
(It's on TubeYou (sssh!)

Also always liked Video Rails production called "The battle for Donner Pass" features "Bear" Mohan.

Jim Baker
Riverside, CA



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