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Incoming Storms Bring Ski Area Hope for Thanksgiving Week Opening



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The Thanksgiving week storm that’s projected to drop Fresno’s first measurable rainfall could also bring heavy snow to the Southern Sierra mountains.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Hanford say a “strong and wet storm” will reach Central California Tuesday night and continue through Friday.

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System Arriving from Gulf of Alaska

A low pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to arrive Tuesday, with a second storm arriving on Thanksgiving Day. Together, these systems could bring up to an inch of rain to the Valley and snowfall at elevations down to 2,000 feet or lower.

Anticipation at China Peak, Yosemite Park

That would be good news for area ski resorts like China Peak, which is looking to open for the season on Friday. Operators are hoping for a foot or more of snow from the incoming storms and are readying their equipment to begin making additional snow once temperatures fall sufficiently.
Forecasts for upper elevations call for daytime high temperatures to drop into the 20s and 30s starting midweek.
Yosemite National Park is also anticipating the arrival of snow to begin the transition to winter. The park service is advising visitors on the Yosemite website that if forecasts hold, “tire chains will be required on all roads in the park and some roads normally open in winter could briefly close.”
Two roads into Yosemite, SR 89 (Sonora Pass) and SR 120 (Tioga Pass), were closed on Friday, with no estimated time of re-opening by Caltrans.

Webcam image taken Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 from just east of Yosemite Valley looking toward Half Dome. (National Park Service)