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The Tahoe Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Tahoe

9/14...

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Yesterday's Snowfall:

We saw pretty much what we expected yesterday with the system that moved through with showers and some high elevation snow.  Here was the forecast.

snow fcst

The best chance for some snow accumulation was South of the lake.  That is what happened as the some heavier snow briefly fell in the morning near Kirkwood.  That dragged snow levels down just below 8000 feet.  Kirkwood reported 1 inch at the base and 4 inches at the summit.  Here is a photo from their Facebook page.

kw

It was a nice reminder that Winter is around the corner.  But of course the snow will melt away pretty quickly as we warm back into the 70's and 80's the rest of the week around the lake.

What's Next?

There is a system that will move into the Pacific NW around the 20th, and will dip South on the 21st.  It may just bring us some cooler air.  Overall no more precip in sight for us currently.

Winter Forecast:

Still watching things develop in the Pacific.  Unfortunately the closest example of the current Sea Surface Temps currently is what we saw in 2014.  Here is 2014.

2014

and here is now...

now

The La Nina may start to strengthen with the strongly positive SOI we see currently, but that is not expected to last.  In the latest NOAA ENSO update they changed from a 55-60% chance of weak La Nina for this Winter, to a 55-60% chance of ENSO neutral conditions.  

noaa

ENSO neutral with a warm blob in the Northeast Pacific is a repeat of 14-15 Winter SSTs.  Here is an anomaly for precip in ENSO neutral/warm PDO Winters.  

enso neutral anomaly

Like we discussed several posts ago in the Winter Season discussion, there is a mix of well above and well below Winters that come up with "average" precip for the Tahoe area.  The difference in 2013-14 and 2014-15 Winters is thought to be the large area of above average sea surface temps in the Northeast Pacific.  Once we go into the heart of Winter the ridge locks in near the West Coast and trough over the East with cold air funneling down from Alaska.  That gave us this...

14-15

The most recent seasons with ENSO neutral and warm PDO conditions that brought above average snowfall were 05-06 and 92-93.  But no blob in those seasons.

2006 sst

So if the blob holds and we have ENSO neutral and a warm PDO going into the Winter we will have to test the theory of the warm blob ridge again...  Let's hope we are proven wrong.  

Make Your Own Judgement:

Last year I didn't see a big Winter coming, only average to slightly above and tried to counter some the hype.  Not as much hyped this season, but a lot of people claiming average to slightly above.  In the last Winter discussion I was at 85-92% of average as we were not sure of the position of the warmest water in the Northeast Pacific and if La Nina could come on.  Now that those are becoming clearer my forecast percentages may be optimistic.

I'm used to getting grief for Winter forecasts.  In the Fall of 2010 my thinking was 125% of average snowfall and I was called crazy for assuming significant amounts of snow.  We saw 150% of average.  Last Fall I called for 95-110% of average and was laughed at for being too low.  We saw 95% at 7000 ft and 110% at 8000 ft.  I would be happy to be wrong this Fall...  My forecasts are from long hours of research and historical comparison to forecast conditions, so you should look at all forecasts and do your own research and make your own judgement.  

The Winter of 14-15 we saw the most snowfall in Nov, Dec, and April.  Don't be surprised to get some early season snow, the question is what happens Jan-Mar?  Let's hope for strong storms that push right into CA.  Pray for snow!

Stay tuned... BA

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