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The Tahoe Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Tahoe

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Update

During these dry spells it is hard to update everyday about the snowfall forecast since there isn't one for the next 2 weeks.  I'm still waiting on some final snowfall data from November so we can look at where we stand compared to other years.

I have spent my time this week forecasting snow for relatives in the East.  I'm definitely jealous.  The pattern setup over the East was the pattern I was always looking for as a kid wanting cold and snow.

Unfortunately that pattern is one of the main reasons that we are stuck in a dry pattern with a large ridge of high pressure anchored over the Western U.S.  This is something that we anticipated coming for a couple of weeks, and it is expected to last for a couple of weeks.

monster ridge

That means sunny skies and highs in the 50's.  Overnight lows are still in the 20's below 8,000 feet with inversions causing temps to be above freezing above 8k.  So snowmaking will be confined to the lower elevations.  The days are short and the sun-angle low this month, so the mild air isn't affecting the snow on the mountains as much as you may think.

In the last few posts we have talked about the last week of the month, after the 20th, as a time period to look for some changes in the pattern.  That continues to be the same as we look for any signs of storms returning.

Next weekend into the week of the 18th it looks like the ridge over the West coast may flatten a bit allowing storms to return to British Columbia and the Pacific NW.  That still keeps the storm track to our North.  As we go into the week of the 18th it is possible we see some colder air if the ridge can shift off the coast a bit and allow the colder air with the storm dropping into the Rockies and Great Basin to push some colder air into Northern CA.

The models are suggesting that the storms could push far enough South by the 21st-22nd that we see some light precip as far South as Tahoe.  Looking at the GFS and European ensemble member mean runs, we see that they show this between the 21st-24th.

gfs ens mean

euro ens mean

The latest operation GFS model run backs the ridge off the coast enough to drop cold air and some snow on us on the 21st.

gfs

That is almost 2 weeks away still, so we are still out in fantasy range as we look for potential snowfall.  Overall the pattern doesn't want to change much with the troughs staying in the Eastern U.S. and North of Hawaii.  The ridge may try to build back in along the West Coast.

What we have been seeing on some model runs and hoping for, is that the center of the highest pressure is shifted North allowing a chance for storms to break underneath into CA the last week of the month.  We have seen this show up off and on on model runs.

The GFS and European ensemble mean and control runs are slightly more consistent in this pattern the last week of the month.

gfs control

euro ens mean height

This is not the ideal pattern.  We would rather see a ridge over the East and North of Hawaii and a trough along the West Coast.  But we need more storms so we will hope for storms to push far enough South for some snow the week of the 18th, and hope that the ridge shifts far enough North after that for storms to break underneath.

Then for January we pray for a whole new pattern...

Stay tuned...BA

P.S. I have been uploading 360 videos on top to bottom runs at several ski resorts over the past week.  I hope to continue to do that at most resorts all season.  I'll work on a landing page here for all of them, but for now check out the video section on the TahoeWeather facebook page.

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