by Craig Dostie
It’s looking like the 2010-11 ski season is about to begin. We’ve had a couple of decent rains in the Sierra over the past six weeks. That tends to elevate expectations for a good ski season. Two weeks ago the mountains around Lake Tahoe had accumulations of over two feet on the leeward side of ridges, but most of it melted within a week.
For the past 24 hours it has been raining steadily in Truckee (elevation ~ 6,000′). After 15 years I’ve come to learn that an inch of rain in town translates to a foot of powder up high. How high depends on how warm or cold the storm is. Weathermen on the local TV stations are saying this storm will produce up to three inches of rain. Here at 5850′, it’s been raining steadily for about 12 hours so I’m betting there’s already two-feet above 9,000′. Snow-Forecast is more conservative, predicting up to 10 inches of snow above 9,000′. Between the two sources and my own estimation I think this will be enough for a lot of backcountry skiers to play hooky Monday morning and make first tracks of the season. If you go, I’ll bet a shot like this would not be an uncommon condition.
Be safe. Don’t forget to wear your avy eyes.