Cloudy and windy today as a dry cold front moves through. Highs in the 30's with mountain top gusts to 50 mph. Sunny and cold Thursday with highs in the 30's. Then 40's for Friday and into the low 50's by Saturday down at lake level. The next cold front moves in Sunday dropping highs back into the 30's on the mountains and 40's at lake level. Sunday night into Monday we could see snow showers that drop a couple inches of snow. Monday will be very cold with highs only in the 20's. That lasts into Tuesday as we clear out. The cold pattern looks to continue in the long-range. Eventually the last few day of the month into the first week of March we could see these cold storms start to pick up more moisture before they move in.
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Short Term Forecast
Not much change to the forecast today. We are locked into a colder pattern except for a brief warm-up Friday and Saturday. We are waiting for the ridge off the coast to back up enough to allow these storms dropping down from the North to move down over water instead of land and pick up moisture. It looks like that could happen the last few days of the month into March.
It is windy this morning with mountain top wind gusts of 50-60 mph on the sensors. We have some clouds as well today as a dry cold front moves down from the North. We may see a flake or two today but not expecting any accumulations. This will just reinforce the cold air into Thursday.
Friday into Saturday we have a brief warm-up as high pressure shifts closer to the coast. Then it retrogrades West away from the coast again Sunday allowing another cold trough to move down from the North. The European model has been consistently wetter with this system trying to bring several inches of snow Sunday night into Monday.
Meanwhile, the GFS has been consistently drier bringing a dusting to an inch or two.
We will have to continue to watch the trend for this system the next few days to see how far West it tracks, and how much moisture it could have. For now I just have a general 2-4 inches of snow in the forecast on the resort pages.
This past Monday was the coldest day of the season so far with highs in the 20's. This upcoming Monday could be even colder with highs in the teens on the mountains. That cold air should last through next week as cold front could move South next Wednesday. So highs could remain in the 20's and 30's.
All this cold is a nice change but it would go better with some snow. More than a couple inches with the cold fronts. The good news has been that the ski resorts have been able to crank out a lot of man made snow this week, expanding terrain. Here is a look at lots of guns firing yesterday at Boreal.
As we get to the last week of the month the ensemble mean runs have been showing the ridge in the East Pacific backing up out towards 150-160w.
That would allow these cold storms dropping down the East side of the ridge to have some over water trajectory and pick up moisture before moving into CA. Below is the EPS enesemble mean run for total precip for the next 10 days while the ridge is closer to the coast and we just get dustings of snow with each cold front.
Then here is the last few days of the month into the first few days of March when it shows more moisture with the cold storms.
The GFS ensemble mean runs are similar to the European in suggesting that the ridge backs up later in the month and allows wetter storms to move in. These would be cold storms like the ones we are seeing this week, but with more moisture and snowfall. Let's hope this happens because it could mean a lot of powder starts to pile up.
Winter isn't over yet. If you have given up Mother Nature doesn't care. She sometimes unleashes in March, so keep the shovels handy. Some years it snows into May. We will see what happens...
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