A fairly mild storm will pass through the region by early Saturday morning, with the clouds beginning to break up by the afternoon, and things should stay dry through Sunday. High temperatures will cool to the low 50s over the weekend. On Monday, a more significant storm moves through, giving us a very good chance of valley rain with mountain snow, amounts of which could be significant. Snow levels could drop to near Lake Tahoe level, but should stay above the valleys. High temperatures could fall to the upper 40s by Tuesday.
Many people think a blizzard occurs when it’s snowing hard. In reality, a blizzard doesn’t have anything to do with the amount of snow falling… in fact, technically speaking, a blizzard can occur when no snow is falling from the sky. A blizzard occurs when the winds are greater than 34 mph, and the visibility from blowing snow drops below one-quarter of a mile.
There are gradations of blizzards as well. A “severe blizzard” occurs if the above criteria are met along with a temperature of 10 degrees F or lower. Years ago, Bob Titus wrote in to say when he was in the Antarctic; all of the blizzards were ‘severe’, with winds above 100 mph gusting into the anemometer stops at 140 mph, with temperatures of minus 40 to minus 60 degrees F. Not exactly a place at which you’d want to hold a wedding reception.