CALIFORNIA, USA — Storm season is approaching and all storms come together in unique ways — this one has some important distinctions as the first of many this season.
1. This is a weak storm.
Grand total, we are not expecting big amounts of rain and snow and many valley locations will not get anything. This system has low pressure centered in the Pacific Northwest and we have a weak flow for Northern California that will struggle to produce much for lower elevation spots. For the Sierra it's different. The extra lift by elevation changes will bring about a 0.10-0.25 inches total for rain. More is possible when you include Friday's potential, but again most places will not see much precipitation and for snow, just a few inches to add up by the time it leaves on Saturday.
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2. This should be the first snow of the season for the resorts.
At the lowest, this system will see accumulation at the ski resorts around 7,500-8,000 feet. This is great for social media photos, but it will not be enough to significantly alter opening dates. In fact, with the higher humidity, it tends to keep temperatures up while ideal snowmaking conditions are clear skies, cold temperatures and drier air.
3. The biggest impact is likely cooler temperatures.
The average high for early October in the valley is in the 80s. But, highs on Thursday will be in the low 70s and most places only top out in the 60s by Friday. Beyond this system, the cooler air remains entrenched with highs likely in the 70s well into next week.
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