Rain, cold snap a boon for Northern California ski resorts

Rainy weather is expected to rumble through the Bay Area with a cold snap and winter weather watch for the mountains, for anyone headed up north to ski.

Mixed with a thick cover of fog, light rain fell in the North Bay on Thursday morning and was expected to make its way to the rest of the Bay Area by mid-afternoon into the evening. 

“The evening commute may be a hassle because of the rain,” KTVU meteorologist said. 

Another set of showers are expected on Sunday into Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Along with that, colder temperatures are expected through the weekend. 

That’s good news for the ski resorts, which have suffered a lack of snow and a lack of skiiers because of the dry conditions this winter. Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in California's Placer County had 23 of 102 open trails on Thursday. Northstar in Truckee had 41 of 97 trails open.

The Sierra Nevada is expected to benefit greatly from the colder temperatures, as 8 to 12 inches of snow is expected through the weekend, according to the weather service. 

“It’s coming,” Tucker Norred, marketing manager for Boreal Mountain Resort, told KTVU on Thursday morning, expecting the snowflakes to hit Soda Springs near Lake Tahoe about 2 p.m. Aided by snowmaking machines, the resort has 5 of 32 trails open. And with the current weather pattern, Norred said “we hope to have more.” 

The National Weather Service said that the heaviest snow is expected between 8 p.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. Friday, and they urged that anyone heading up to the mountains drive before or after that most-dangerous period.