First snow of the season could be earliest in nearly 30 years for one Sierra location
With snow in the forecast this week for the Sierra, it got me thinking... is it too early to see snow?
Maybe it was just the record hot summer that has me questioning this September snow -- but nonetheless -- let's see what the data has to say!
There are over 50 Snotel stations in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, but only three of them are in Washoe County. So, trying to find a site representative of the Sierra near Reno, I asked the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) to pull all the data from the Mt. Rose Snotel site.
Here's what I found:
Climatologically speaking, the average first snowfall on Mt. Rose occurs within the first two weeks of October.
But the WRCC Snotel records show that it is not uncommon to see the first snowfall as early as the second week of September.
The earliest snowfall recording on Mt. Rose was September 9th, 1985.
Compared to last year, the first snow on Mt. Rose occurred on October 3.
An interesting note... The Mt. Rose Snotel site hasn't recorded snowfall in the month of September in almost 30 years (since 1988).
Now, does this indicate a rough winter? Not really.
So what about this September snow for Mt. Rose? Could we see snow for the first time at that site for the first time since 1988?
Snow chances perk up over Donner Pass between 1-3 a.m. on Thursday. With a rain/snow mix in the forecast Wednesday overnight into Thursday.
Snow levels currently sit at around 7,000' but could drop down to 6,000' into Thursday midday.
Thursday by noon, snow shower chances increase to 40% for Mt. Rose and for the high elevation for the Sierra with maybe a dusting possible to up to 2 inches for some locations by the end of the day Thursday.
The big winner for snow this week will be Eastern Elko County where 6-10'' could fall.
For the most up to date forecast, click here.