Operations Update: February 8

Category: Operations Blog

Both Mountains Closed Today, February 7, 2017

Last night the storm brought 16 inches of new snow to Alpine Meadows' upper mountain and 10 inches to Squaw Valley's upper mountain. Over the course of the evening, snow levels rose bringing heavier, wetter snow and rain to the mountains. Rain on top of new snow causes very unstable snow conditions. Check out today's warning from the Sierra Avalanche Center, which remains in effect until 7am tomorrow. Snow instability paired with VERY high winds (145mph gusts on the ridge!) prevented us from safely opening the mountains today. 

The Storm Continues

We are currently experiencing heavy rainfall, which is expected to continue through Thursday. Here is the lastest forecast from The National Weather Service

  • This Afternoon: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 41. Very windy, with a southwest wind around 55 mph, with gusts as high as 85 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
  • Tonight: Rain. Low around 36. Very windy, with a southwest wind 30 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
  • Wednesday: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 41. Very windy, with a southwest wind 30 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

 NOAA has also issued a Flood Warning and High Wind Watch for the area. Please be careful on the roads: do not drive into any flooded area and follow the direction of Emergency Management officials!

Snow Thursday Night & Friday

The good news is that the next storm is expected to transition from rain to snow on Thursday night. Our weather blogger updated his forecast for this next storm phase today at 5:26am:

"Thursday the next storm pushes closer and the heavy precip returns in the afternoon, with snow levels still around 9000 feet. Then Thursday night a cold front pushes in colder air and snow levels begin to fall to 7000 feet by Friday morning, and then hovering around 6500 feet during the day Friday behind the front. We could see 2-10 inches on the mountain by Friday afternoon. Friday night a final wave may push in with snow levels dropping below the base. We could see 3-6 inches at the base, and 5-8 inches on the mountain before the snow finally tapers off by Saturday morning."

We will be left with new snow and clear skies starting Saturday!

TOMORROW'S OPERATIONS OUTLOOK, FEBRUARY 8, 2017

Persistent high winds and unstable snow will continue challenge our operations. Additional control work will need to be completed before we can open any of our slopes. Our crews are geared up to tackle this and will do so if conditions allow. Safety is our top priority, especially during these dynamic storm cycles. Our crews will assess conditions first thing in the morning, so please check our lift & trail status page and app for updates.