Cold today with scattered snow showers. Highs only in the teens on the mountains and 20's at lake level. Winds gusting to 25-35 mph on the mountain tops. We could see another 1-2 inches of snowfall on the mountains. It stays cold all week with highs in the 20's through Friday. We should see some sun on Tuesday. Wednesday a weak system could bring a few flakes. Another weak system on Thursday could bring a few more inches of fluffy snow to the mountains. Then the sun should return Friday. Next weekend a weak system could bring some clouds and a few flakes Saturday. We may have some sun for Sunday. High temps may warm into the 30's. Next week we could see a stronger storm Monday-Tuesday, and then more storms lined up behind that.
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Short Term Forecast
It's a cold and white morning around the area. Temperatures are starting out in the single digits with highs in the teens on the mountains today. The ski resorts are reporting a general 4-8 inches across most mountains which is right on the forecast. Let's break down the storm like we like to do the morning after.
Two distinct bands of heavier snowfall developed with the cold front yesterday evening. The first band moved in to the North side of the lake around 3 p.m.
Those snow bands moved South through the evening dropping the 1-4 inches at lake level and 4-7 inches on the mountains that's being reported. I was watching for snow showers to setup behind the front to see if anyone would pick up bonus snows. There was a 3rd smaller band of heavier snow that setup over the I-80 corridor around Truckee at 7 p.m. as the first two were pushing South of the lake.
That band sat there and then fizzled out. It may have helped boost the totals at Boreal with 8 inches reported, & Mt. Rose reporting 7. I believe it also helped Truckee to pick up some the highest lake level totals. There was around 4 inches on the ground as I was driving through town. It created a mess on I-80 closing it for a short time. There were people crashed and off the road all over the place as I drove from Donner Summit to the East side of Truckee.
The rest of the basin didn't pick up much more accumulating snow showers last night, except for Southwest of the lake where light showers sat most of the night. That helped Sierra to come in on the high end with 7 inches and Kirkwood 10 inches.
This morning we have a band of showers moving from North to South in Western Nevada. That could help to spark off light snow showers across much of the area this morning. We are also seeing some lake effect snow bands forming off of Pyramid lake, and Lake Tahoe on the Southeast shore.
Only expecting a dusting up to inch or two today at best from the scattered light snow showers today. As the wind comes around more from the North today I am watching to see if that lake effect band shifts South over South Lake Tahoe and Heavenly. That could bring some bonus snows.
Here are the reported totals so far. We will have the final totals and comparison to forecast tomorrow morning.
It stays cold all week as we remain in a cold Northerly flow. A weak system falls apart Wednesday but we could see some clouds and a few flakes. Then another system Thursday could hold together better and bring a few inches of snow with the cold front. The forecast models only have a tenth to three tenths of an inch of liquid with this dry system. But the snow ratios could be 15-20:1 again so we could squeeze out several inches. Here is the updated forecast, not much different from yesterday's forecast for Thursday.
We should see a break Friday. Another weak system falls apart Saturday but we could see a few clouds and a few flakes. Then another break for Sunday. Temperatures may warm into the 30's for the weekend.
Here is a look at the pattern this week with the trough over the West and the ridge off the coast. That is putting the storm track on the West side of the trough over land bringing us cold by dry storms.
We have been talking about the pattern possible shifting next week and the week after as the ridge shifts further away from the coast. Here is the forecast pattern for a week from now.
With the ridge and trough shifted a bit West, we may see the storm dropping down the coast and picking up more moisture. Of course we need them to also then swing inland. The trend for the Monday-Tuesday storm has been for a low to drop down off the coast. The latest European model run keeps it off the coast now with no snow next Monday-Tuesday. The GFS swings the low inland over CA on Tuesday with a decent snowstorm. So we will be watching that closely this week.
There should be more storms dropping into the trough behind that next week that could bring more snowfall the 2nd half of next week.
As we go through the first week of March the long-range ensemble runs show the pattern backing West even more.
The ridge out at 160-170w and the trough along the West Coast is a good setup for strong storms. We could see storms become wetter as we go through days 7-14. The ensemble runs show some heavier precip chances during that time.
We have to be careful because if the ridge shifts too far West the trough will move off the coast and we could see a ridge over CA by the 2nd week of March. Let's hope we see the shift West week 2, and then it holds there for a few weeks. That would be the Miracle March recipe.
For now we have a week of cold and a little more snow possible Thursday. We will keep a weary eye on next week's possible storms.
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