- Cold with sun, clouds, and scattered snow showers for Sunday. The best chance for steady snow showers will be on the east side of the lake where we could see 1-3 inches of snow. The rest of the Tahoe basin could see a dusting to an inch. Highs in the 20's on the upper mountains and 30's at lake level. - We will see a drier day on Monday with some sun and cold temperatures with highs in the 30's. - A weak system moving through Tuesday could bring 1-2 inches of snow with highs in the 30's. Ridgetop winds gusting to 45+ mph. - We will see a drier pattern set up starting Wednesday, possibly lasting through the 3rd week of March. We stay cold in the 30's through Thursday, then we could warm into the 40's the weekend of the 15th. - There are some signs the ridge could possibly weaken later in the month and we could see some storms the last week of March.
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Short Term Forecast
The storm did pretty much what we were expecting on Sunday. It stalled off the coast and pushed some scattered snow showers into the area. We were expecting a dusting up to 3 inches with the highest amounts possible along the crest. Depending on where the snow showers set up, we picked up 1-4 inches of snow at ski resorts on the west side of the lake.
On the east side, we saw fewer showers with only a dusting to an inch, until a lake effect band formed off the northeast corner of the lake early this morning dropping 3-4 inches of snow over Diamond Peak & Mt. Rose.
Here are the reports. Well south of the lake from Dodge Ridge to Mammoth they saw some heavier snow showers with up to 7 inches of snow. There must have been a doughnut hole over Bear Valley.
We have a cold morning again this morning with temperatures in the teens and 20's. The winds are much lighter this morning as the low off the coast has shifted south.
The low is still spinning along the coast this morning and will continue to slide south today. We are seeing some breaks in the clouds with some sun over the lake this morning. We could see some scattered snow showers develop along the west side of the lake again later this morning into this afternoon. The amounts look lighter on the latest model runs. We could see a dusting to an inch of snow today.
For the central basin, we may see sun & clouds with a dusting of snow possible. As the low moves southeast today the winds will turn out of the northeast this afternoon and evening. That could fire up some upslope snow showers on the east side of the lake as the moist unstable air flow from the east is lifted by the mountains. You can see the increased precip amounts on the WPC model this morning.
We will have to see if this develops this afternoon. I have the forecast for the mountains on the east side of the lake from Mt. Rose down to Heavenly at 1-3 inches today, with another dusting to an inch possible this evening. Then the system clears out completely by Monday morning.
For Monday we will see sun and highs into the 30's. On the upper mountains, it could be breezy with an east wind gusting to 25+ mph.
A trough pushes into the West Coast Tuesday sweeping a cold front through the area. The trend for this system continues to be drier.
The European model has just over a tenth of an inch of total precip Tuesday afternoon/evening with the front. The GFS has less than a tenth. So a pretty weak storm. Based on the latest model runs, we could see a dusting up to 2 inches on the mountains at best. Ridgetop winds could gust to 45+ mph.
Dry Weather Pattern:
I haven't used those words in a while. Since the beginning of February, we haven't had more than a day without snow. The last time we had several days without snow was the last week of January.
High pressure starts to build along the West Coast Wednesday bringing a dry pattern through next weekend. We stay cold through the end of the week with highs in the 20's on the upper mountains and 30's at lake level through Wednesday and 30's for all elevations into Friday.
Next weekend as high pressure continues to build over the West we should begin to see warming temperatures, with highs into the 40's. It should be the nicest weekend we have seen since last year.
The dry and mild weather could continue through the 3rd week of March. The latest European model runs have slowed the weakening of the ridge, more in line with the GFS & Canadian models showing dry weather through the 20th.
The long-range ensemble mean runs do show the high-pressure ridge over the West Coast weakening the last week of March.
There is a fairly strong jet stream across the Pacific by the 20th trying to push storms into the West Coast.
The long-range model runs show some storms possibly pushing into CA starting around the 21st. The ensemble mean runs show increased chances for precipitation starting around then as well. We will have to keep watching as we get closer, but for now, I'm going to enjoy the sunny weather!
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