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The Tahoe Daily Snow

Snow & Powder Forecasts for Tahoe

Snowing Again...

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Summary

Snow today through tonight before tapering off Saturday morning. We could see 3-8 inches at lake level and 3-12 inches on the mountains. Winds will gust 40-50 mph on the mountain tops before calming Saturday. A bit of a break Saturday afternoon through Sunday. A weak system may bring a coating of snow Sunday. Winds begin to gust to 50 mph up high by Sunday afternoon. Highs are in the 30's through the weekend. Sunday night a strong storm moves in and lasts through Monday night. Snow levels start below lake level before rising to between 7000-8000 feet by Monday morning. Then falling again Monday evening below lake level by Monday night. Winds will be strong with this storm gusting over 100 mph. We could see 15-20 inches of snow at lake level, and 2-4 feet on the mountains. Tuesday we may have a bit of a break with snow showers lingering. Another system moves in Tuesday night into Wednesday with snow showers tapering off by Wednesday night. We could see an additional 10-15 inches at lake level, and 15-20 inches on the mountains by Thursday morning. We should have a break next Thursday. Then a cold front moving down from the North next weekend may bring some light snow along with colder air.

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Short Term Forecast

The storm yesterday was a fast mover just as expected.  Some people were saying it fizzled, but it actually did exactly what I forecast for the mountains.  You can't compare the snowfall to other forecasts when mentioning to me that the storm didn't produce.  Here are the reports for yesterday.

totals

Here is the variance to forecast report.

variance

The next storm is already moving in this morning.  It began to push in snow around 6 a.m. just after the resorts measure.  So the totals above don't include the snow that started this this morning.

radar

Not much change to the forecast for the storm today.  There is not a lot of moisture making it this far North as the heaviest precip stays to our South.  Here are the GFS and Canadian total precip forecasts by tomorrow morning.

gfs

cmc

Mainly up to a half inch at most on the East side of the lake, and an inch near the crest.  The GFS has the inch focused Southwest of the lake.  So looking at the snowfall forecast the best chance at the higher end may be South and West of the lake.

snow chart1

Here is the snow ratio forecast

ratios

The inch for Saturday is from lingering snow showers tapering off in the morning.  Winds with this storm are gusting up to 40 mph so far this morning, so a lot lighter than with most storms.  The winds may gust as high as 50 mph today.  Then coming down for Saturday.

Saturday into Sunday should be decent skiing weather.  A weak system moving through to our North may bring clouds and light snow showers Sunday.  The winds ahead of the next big storm should start to pick up by Sunday afternoon with gusts hitting 50+ mph.

Here is the total snowfall forecast through Sunday to include the inch possibly Sunday on the mountains.

fri sun totals

Still expecting a strong storm for Sunday night through Monday night as an atmospheric river takes aim at CA.  The snow levels start below lake level Sunday night so we could get accumulating snow for all elevations before snow levels start to rise overnight.  By 4 a.m. Monday the GFS has snow levels around 7500 feet.  Then hovering most of the day before starting to fall back to lake level Monday evening.  

The very heavy precip may drag snow levels to 7k during the day Monday.  In my forecast I have snow accumulating to 7k but very low snow ratios with very wet snow.  The precip amounts have continued to trend higher for Monday with 2-3 inches of liquid possible.  The GFS starts to wind down the heavy precip Monday night, but the European model keeps heavy precip going longer.  This would affect lake level amounts as the snow levels will be lower Monday night.

Taking the average here is the snowfall forecast Sunday night through Monday night.

sun mon chart

Then on Tuesday the GFS has a complete break while the European model keeps snow showers going with several more inches possible.  Tuesday night into Wednesday a final and colder wave moves in.  The European model is almost triple the total precip as the GFS with this storm.  For now taking the average, but just know that the amounts could be a lot less if the GFS is right or more if the European is right.

Here is the GFS and Canadian total precip forecasts by Thursday morning.

gfs

cmc

Here is the total snowfall forecast by Thursday morning starting Sunday night, on top of what falls with the current storm by tomorrow.

sun wed totals

It looks like we will clear out with a break next Thursday.

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Extended Forecast

Still trying to get a handle on the pattern in the long-range.  It does appear that we will see high pressure build near the Gulf of Alaska.  The question is how close to the coast does it setup and how far North.  

Those answers will determine how far West the cold trough on the East side of the high digs into the Western U.S., and if storms will be able to cut under the ridge into CA.

Here is the GFS pattern forecast for next Friday showing a cold trough digging down the West Coast.

gfs 1

The there is a low dropping down off the coast and we could see light snow with the low and cold front next Friday-Saturday.  The European ensembles dig the trough even further off the coast keeping us cold and dry.  The Canadian ensembles are closer to the GFS.

Either way a colder pattern may setup next weekend.  The GFS ensemble runs show the trough staying along the West Coast through the extended period.

gfs2

gfs 3

It is keeping the ridge near Alaska far enough West for the cold air to push down from the North.  It is a drier but colder pattern than we have been seeing.  The European ensemble mean runs have the ridge closer to the coast but further North.  That would keep the colder air to our East, and would bring a better chance of the jet stream cutting under into CA.

The Canadian model is similar to the European as we go into March with the high pressure along the West Coast.  

canadian

So are we heading into a drier and colder pattern, or just drier, or will the jet stream be able to break under the ridge into CA at some point?

Stay tuned...BA

Announcements

Geography Key:

East

Mt. Rose, Heavenly, Diamond Peak

Central

Northstar

West

Tahoe Donner, Homewood, Bear Valley, Dodge Ridge

Crest

Boreal, Donner Ski Ranch, Sugar Bowl, Squaw, Alpine, Sierra, Kirkwood

*Boreal and Donner Ski Ranch are forecast with the "West" mountains in higher snow levels events.

*The snowfall forecasts on the ski resort pages are for the upper mountains at 8000'.

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