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As I do when a prolonged dry spell starts I have been looking at all the long-range data this morning looking for a good sign. We got one nice storm and it's plenty cold to keep the snow on the mountains for a while. It was slightly colder this morning around 8 when I got up. Slept in today for my day off.
Temperatures will moderate back into the 30's and maybe even low 40's in the valleys by the end of the week. High pressure will be over the West and off the West Coast keeping the storms up into the Pacific NW and Western Canada for the next 10 days. The only sign of some precip on the forecast models is on the European last night showing the ridge backing up enough for a trough dipping into CA by next Thursday.
Here is the Canadian model for the upcoming weekend and you can see all the H's representing high pressure sitting over the West and off the coast. You can also see the storm in the Gulf of Alaska and the precip impacting the coast from Western Canada down to Washington.
Like the Euro it also backs up the high pressure ridge next week further out in the Pacific. Will it be enough for a storm to drop in, or will it just bring us more cold air down from Canada?
Here is the CFS precip forecast for the next 10 days. When we see maps like this with only CA dry it makes me laugh as it feels like there is a curse on us right now.
Of course it makes me want to cry too that we got a good storm and now it stops. Here is the CFS forecast for the rest of December.
You can see that it continues to keep the main storm track into Western Canada through the end of the month. Then in January it lowers the storm track further down the West Coast.
The good news is that if it is going to be dry we want it to at least be cold to hold the snow in place and for additional snow making. Here is the December temp forecast.
You can see the warmer temps over Western Canada where the jet stream will be aimed off the Pacific. Hopefully that is part of the reason for our January temp forecast.
It was a fun weekend of snow for a lot of the country. It was great watching many of the NFL games with the snow falling. The Eagles game had the most snow i've ever seen on the field during a game. The forecast was for an inch of snow and they had 8 inches on the field by the end of the game. Greater than 58% of the country is covered in snow right now with compared to 18% this time last year. The cold has been over most of the country as well with a lot of record lows being set.
So lots of pretty graphs for you today but it's all pie in the sky really. For now we wait for a change in the pattern on the short-range models to a stormy pattern. Lots of conflicting signals in the Northern Hemisphere so anything could happen. Stay tuned as I will be all over the first sign of the next storm...BA
It's a balmy -9 this morning outside the house as I'm writing this. The ski resorts picked up another 5-14 inches since the reports yesterday at 6 a.m. That brings the storm total for the mountains to 16-36 inches. The highest amounts fell South of the lake where the ski resorts picked up 30-36 inches, and up to 2 feet at lake level. 6 day totals are 20-41 inches around the lake. The ski resorts are averaging 13% of seasonal averages. We would like to see them close to 25% by the end of the month.
It's been a bitter sweet morning. Totaling up all the snow for the biggest storm since last Christmas has been great. Looking at the long-range forecasts has been disappointing. The models have come into great agreement the past 24 hours but not how we want them too. They have a more amplified ridge off the coast and over the West, and anchor them there over the next 2 weeks keeping us dry.
The first system Thu/Fri impacts the Pacific NW and the trailing front splits apart as it hits the back of the ridge over the West. The same happens with the second system next weekend. The storm track in the long-term stays to our North. The good news is that this is new in the past 24 hours and could change again just as fast. Also, the forecast models are wrong all the time and now is a time for us to root for them to be wrong.
Looking at all the teleconnection patterns most of them are staying the same in the forecast. The AO and NAO stay positive, the PNA stays negative, the WPO stays negative. The only change is the complete reversal of the EPO (Eastern Pacific Oscillation) from deeply negative to positive very quickly this week.
The positive EPO is a flip from ridging in the Gulf of Alaska and Western Canada to troughing. That takes away the what has been driving all of the cold air down into the West. Also with the trough in the Gulf of Alaska and a strong jet into Western Canada it builds a ridge off the CA coast. With all of the warm water building in the Northeast Pacific I would expect to see more ridging in Western Canada this Winter, but for now the storm track looks like it will be into Western Canada and the Pacific NW staying to our North.
There is a lot going on in the global patterns right now. Stay tuned as we monitor the changes. Hopefully it doesn't stay as dry as it looks this morning up to Christmas. Stay tuned....BA
Everyone seems to be in the high end of the forecast range already this morning. The ski resorts are reporting 15-24 inches. Readers are reporting a foot in Glenshire, 14 inches Truckee Airport, 12-17 inches along the North Shore, 14 inches for South Lake, 17 inches for Meyers, 2 feet at 7k on Kingsbury grade. I had 17 inches here at the office in Norden an hour ago but still coming down hard. Comment your totals and location in the comment section.
With the cold unstable air and moisture in the air we should see snow showers most of the day around the basin. Heaviest showers should be along the crest. The GFS and Euro show a weak wave moving through this evening so snow showers may not taper until after dark. An additional 3-6 could fall depending on where the snow showers fall today. So we won't know storm totals until tomorrow morning. Looking at the season totals for the ski resorts on the upper mountain they show 3-5 feet now since October. Not a bad start to the season.
It stays cold through Monday with highs only in the 20's. We start to moderate into the 30's and 40's towards midweek. The forecast models went haywire overnight with the GFS and European now trying to hold the ridge off the coast and keep the precip to our North Thursday into Friday. They split the flow with the Southern half sliding down the coast. The Canadian still has the storm.
The GFS breaks down the ridge and amplifies it North of Hawaii by the weekend with a series of storms into CA next weekend into the following week. The Euro keeps the ridge closer to the coast with drier systems sliding down the coast into CA as the main storm track stays to our North. The Canadian keeps the ridge along the coast and the storm track to our North. Where the storm track does setup there is going to be a lot of precip. It looks like we are going to have to keep tracking until it gets closer as to where the jet stream will impact the West Coast.
Here is the CFS precip forecast for the 12th to the 22nd. You can see we are right on the borderline. The CFS has us a little drier the third week of the month and then wetter for the end of the month.
We have lots of snow to play with for now. It will be a fun week ahead tracking down the potential storms for week 2. We will look at storm totals tomorrow morning and analyze where we are at for this time of year.
T-minus 12 hours and counting. I'm pretty excited about this storm because it has been a long time since our last significant storm. December 26, 2012 is the last storm we had that dropped 1-2 feet on the basin. Almost a year ago! Not too many changes this morning other than to slow the storm down with an onset later this evening or even midnight for South Lake. That means don't send me emails at 8 p.m. tonight asking me why it's not snowing at your house yet, just keep staring at the spotlight it will come.
The heaviest snow is expected to fall in the early morning hours. With the slower speed of the storm we will see the snow showers last through the day on Saturday. About 1/4 of the forecasted totals below will fall during the day Saturday with the other 3/4 falling overnight.
No change in the forecast model precip output overnight. The GFS is still a quarter inch lower than all the other models, so I'm going with the majority. The NAM, European, and Canadian models have all been consistent with up to 3/4 of an inch across the Tahoe Basin and up to an inch along the crest. Throw in 20:1+ snow ratios and we should see 10-15 inches at lake level, 15-20 inches above 7000 ft, and up to 2 feet along the crest. Highest amounts on the West side of the basin.
Here is the latest Canadian forecast.
It will be tempting to go off trail tomorrow if you're skiing, but remember this is super light powder over top of bare rocks and logs. I'll be staying up at the lodge on the Summit tonight so I'll keep you updated on the Facebook page with snow totals and pics.
This storm reinforces the cold air through Monday with highs staying in the 20's. The ski resorts will most likely keep making snow around the clock over the weekend and there should be a decent amount of terrain that opens for the first week of December. The flow turns more Westerly as the ridge builds off the coast starting Tuesday so daytime temps start to warm into the 30's and 40's by midweek.
The GFS has come more in line with the Euro and Canadian models with regards to the pattern setup the end of next week. They all break down the ridge off the coast enough for a decent storm to push into CA Thursday into Friday. Some runs suggest another storm on its heels for the weekend of the 14th. They then have the ridge building back in to start the week of the 16th. So only about a 5 day break before our next chance of snow after this storm.
Stay tuned for updates. I will most likely post again this evening if there are any changes. Also, check the CA page for a one stop shop of individual resort forecasts and morning snow reports. The individual resort snowfall forecasts that have the image of the little guy instead of a computer mean that I personally forecast the snow amounts and they are not just computer model generated. BA
Only 36 hours until we get more snow! Snow will start Friday afternoon or evening and end by Saturday morning. The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch for this system.
Not too many changes to the forecast over the past 24 hours. Still not total agreement among the forecast models on total precip amounts for this storm. We do know though that temps will be cold Friday night during the brunt of the storm so snow:water ratios will be near 20:1. That means twice as much snow will pile up as would fall at 32 degrees and 10:1 ratios.
You can see here the difference on model output for precip this morning. First is the GFS and second is the Canadian.
The GFS and NAM runs this morning still show .25 - .5 inches of total liquid in the basin with up to .75 inches along the crest. The Canadian and European models have .5 - .75 for the basin and up to an inch along the crest. For now we'll take an average. That gives us 7-12 inches in the basin and 12-18 inches along the crest. Highest amounts West side of the basin. The NWS Winter Storm Watch is pretty close to those amounts. They are calling for 6-10 inches East side of the basin with up to a foot plus West side and along the crest. This will be blower pow, not good for base building and super light.
This storm will reinforce the cold air keeping highs in the 20's and lows in the single digits into Monday. The flow turns from Northerly to Westerly by next Tuesday and the ridge build off the coast. That will start a slight warming trend back into the 40's.
The GFS is now keeping the ridge off the coast for the end of next week keeping the storm track to our North. It then retrogrades the ridge going into next weekend allowing for some bigger storms into CA. The European runs are still consistent on backing up the ridge by next Thursday and bringing in decent storms into the weekend of the 13th. We should see some more aggreement on how the pattern will setup over the next couple of days.
For now lots of cold and more snow on the way. Stay tuned...BA