Tahoe Daily Snow

Quiet Weather Pattern...


- Tuesday is sunny with highs in the 30's. It may become breezy with an east wind of up to 50 mph on the mountain tops making it feel a little colder. - Wednesday through the weekend we have dry weather with highs in the 40's. - The dry pattern looks like it will continue through the end of the month. Then we could see a pattern change the 1st week of February that could bring a return of storms.

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Short Term Forecast

A Good Storm:

The consensus from a lot of people was that Monday was the best snow so far this season.  The people that didn't quite give it that ranking did so because of the holiday crowds. 

The snow will be good again this morning as temperatures dipped into the teens and single digits overnight.  Temperatures start to warm this afternoon into the 30's so the snow will start to consolidate and become thicker.  Winds this morning are gusting out of the east around 40 mph which is helping to make it feel a bit colder than the air temperature on the mountain tops.

The storm train has left and we will have quiet weather through the end of the month most likely.


The Stats:

It was a good 2 weeks with 5-13 feet of snow falling on the mountains and lot of precipitation for northern CA.  As of yesterday, the Northern Sierra 8-Station index is at 105% of average for total precipitation for the date, and 50% of the total water year average that goes until 9/30/19.

8 station

You can see that January is easily the biggest snowfall month so far this season.


Even with the coming dry spell that easily puts January above average for snowfall for the month.  It was enough to make up for the deficit coming into the month.  As of yesterday, we are at 110% of the snowfall average for the season so far.  If we don't see any snow through the rest of the month we will end the month of January sitting at 97% of average snowfall on the upper mountains.


The Forecast:

High pressure will be building along the West Coast over the next week keeping us dry.

high pressure

The strong jet stream that was extended to the West Coast the last 2 weeks will retract and split well off the coast around the ridge.


Here is the 10-day total precip forecast on the GFS ensemble mean forecast model.

10 day precip

Temperatures in the 30's today will warm into the 40's through the weekend.

Extended Forecast

The long-range models continue to suggest a pattern change the first week of February.  There is decent agreement among the models that we could go into a +PNA, -EPO, -WPO pattern.


That would have blocking high pressure across the North Pacific and a trough along the West Coast, which is what most of the ensemble mean runs are leaning towards for the pattern that week.

blocking high

We may see the jet stream extend towards the West Coast again with the storm track being forced under the ridge in the North Pacific.  Maybe with a little help from the MJO moving through the Pacific and feeding the jet stream.

jet stream

If you are looking at the operational models you probably see storms moving into CA the first week of February.  More than 10 days out the models don't have much accuracy on specific storms.  All we can do is watch the pattern to see if it trends towards a pattern that would bring a chance for storms to CA, which it seems to be trending towards for the first week of February. 

Here is a look at the GFS ensemble mean run for total precipitation showing a an increased chance for precipitation the first week of February.

gfs ens mean

It's definitely not a guarantee yet.  We will continue to be watching this over the next 10 days.  The CFSv2 climate model shows above normal precipitation chances the first week of February and then trending drier again the 2nd week of February. 


The warm water along the equator is at weak El Nino temperatures, but we are still officially in ENSO neutral status.  NOAA has taken away the chances for El Nino to develop during the Winter and has only a 65% chance of a weak El Nino developing during the Spring.  We really haven't seen many signs of the warm water along the equator coupling with the atmosphere yet this season.  So don't give El Nino the credit for storminess this season. 

So far this season the extension of the strong jet stream and storms into CA seems to have lined up with the active MJO moving through the Pacific helping to feed the jet stream.  That is forecast to possibly happen again week 2.

For now, we can enjoy the snowpack and a break in the storms with nice sunny weather.  Thursday evening I'll be up at Tahoe Donner's Pizza on the Hill from 5-8:30 as Opensnow joins with Tahoe Donner for a celebratory pizza party to celebrate the snow so far this season.  Would love for you to join us for a relaxed evening of pizza, beer, ski movies, and local camaraderie among snow lovers.

Stay tuned...BA  

P.S. I may not update every morning until we are back in an active pattern.


 Mark Your Calendars!  (click here)

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