Avid golfers should be thinking about skis, snowboards and saucers this weekend after the epic rains and snow in Northern California. The snow conditions in the Sierra Nevada for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend should be amazing.
The rains have left even the best drained golf courses soggy at best—water hazards should be filled and the creeks should be running. And, with weather expected in the mid-50s over the next week in the Bay Area (with frost returning overnight in the inland valleys), it’s time to think about taking advantage of the white stuff blanketing the Sierra Nevada.
Through Tuesday, this rain year was on track to exceed the two wettest years on record— 1982-83 and 1996-97. The drought, barring rain stopping completely, will be formally declared over this spring. Incidentally, the snowfall was below average when the first snow depth readings were taken in early January—witness how a strong Pineapple Express can quickly change the situation.
After the very warm storms last weekend, temperatures cooled so ski resorts piled up new snow.
Kirkwood Ski Resort, located southwest of Lake Tahoe, picked up 4 feet of new snow overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. The weather, with highs in the teens and 20s, should be ideal for maintaining great powder conditions. The resort is reporting powder with a base of 100 inches (that’s more than 8 feet) and a season snowfall of 259 inches.
On the north side of Lake Tahoe, Alpine Meadows received 32 inches at the 6,200-foot base that ran the season total to 173 inches. Alpine and its sister and neighboring resort, Squaw Valley, were closed mid-week because of an electrical outage and were in limited operation Thursday.
Sugar Bowl, located near Donner Summit and traditionally the resort with the highest snowfall, received 30 inches overnight to bring its season total to 332 inches. Truly Epic. That’s 27.7 feet as of January 11, Wow.
With three-day weekend for schools at hand, you will not find better conditions. The storms and snow showers are tapering off with sunshine expected over the weekend. We are experiencing an amazing year for folks who love snow sports.
And for those who want green grass, conditions in the Coachella Valley are a little more chilly than normal, with rain expected this week and the 10-day forecast showing highs in the mid-60s with lows in the 50s or the 40s. Often, you can see lows into the 30s, but highs reaching the 70s this time of year.
Conditions in Scottsdale, Arizona, are similar with highs in the mid-60s and lows in the mid-40s.
–By Tim Hunt