- Sunny and cool weather with highs in the 50's through Tuesday. - A weak storm moves in Wednesday but starts off a series of storms. Stronger storms possible Thanksgiving through the weekend that could bring accumulating snowfall to the mountains. - After a 5 day stormy period from the 21st - 25th, we may have at least a brief break in the storms.
The Ikon Pass
Short Term Forecast
I had to get up this morning and dust off the snowfall calculator. We finally have storms in the 1-week window. I made a few tweaks to the calculator and then input the data for the storms next week. Let's take a look.
I am going to skip over the weather for the next 5 days as sunny and cool weather continues. Of note is that Squaw, Alpine, Northstar, and Heavenly all opened today. I posted a live story on the Tahoe Weather Instagram page last night. With Mt. Rose and Boreal already open, that brings us to 6 mountains now open for this weekend.
The GFS forecast model finally came in line with the other models the past 24 hours. This morning there is good agreement among the models that we will see 3 storms next week from Wednesday through the weekend. There is also good agreement that the first storm will be weak as it moves in Wednesday/Wednesday night. Then possibly wetter storms for Thursday night and the weekend.
For this section, I'm just going to look at the first 2 storms since the 3rd is more than a week out. The European model is the wettest with both the first and 2nd storm, but overall the first storm moving in Wednesday looks to weaken with not much moisture making it into the area. The GFS model is drier and really doesn't bring in any moisture.
The Euro brings in a 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of liquid across the basin. The snow levels look to start around 8000 feet and quickly fall below 7000 feet. They could hover near to just above lake level Wednesday night into Thursday. I wouldn't get too excited about this first system unless it trends wetter the next few days. Using the model blend here is what the snowfall calculator has for the period.
If the wetter European model is right we could maybe see a few inches of snow on the mountains.
The 2nd storm does look stronger pulling in more moisture. The models are in good agreement in the arrival of Thanksgiving night. The GFS is just further North and is not pushing nearly as much precip south into the Tahoe area. It brings a quick hit Thursday night.
Meanwhile, the Euro model is very wet with prolonged storm lasting into Friday night. The European model right now is 4x wetter than the GFS! It has up to 2 inches of liquid near the crest through Friday. The Canadian model tends to trend towards the Euro, and the Euro tends to be more accurate a week out. Here is the Canadian total precip forecast through Friday, compare it to the GFS above.
Both storms combined the European model is 5x wetter. So we have a lot of fine tuning to do as we get closer. Plugging the GFS and Euro models into the calculator this morning here is the total snowfall potential through next Friday.
If the European and Canadian models are right, the snowfall amounts would be higher.
Through the period the models have the snow levels fluctuating right around lake level. As we go through the next few days we are definitely going to have to see if the European model trends drier or the GFS trends wetter since they are so far apart. But for now, it looks like we will see 2 storms, one weak and one possibly a little stronger Wed-Fri next week.
There is a 3rd and final storm in the series showing up for the weekend of the 24th. This storm is the wettest storm of the 3 on the GFS model. Being more than a week out we won't get into details. Just mention that we could see a 3rd system bring in snowfall that weekend.
Here is a look at the GFS total precipitation forecast through the weekend of the 24th.
As we go into the week of the 26th here is the pattern forecast by the GFS ensemble mean run.
The models are trying to build the ridge back over the Pacific NW that week. If we will continue to see storms we would need the jet stream to break under the ridge into CA. In an El Nino season where the El Nino should help split and strengthen the southern branch of the jet stream that is possible.
P.S. I'll be at the Cal Expo tomorrow for SnowBomb ski and board festival. Stop by and chat weather.
What are you doing this weekend? Every year Snowbomb puts on ski shows to help you get geared up for season. There is only 1 show left! It's this Saturday & Sunday in Sacramento. I'm planning to be on Saturday to hang out with everyone and talk weather.
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