- We will see a drier pattern set up starting Wednesday and lasting through the weekend. We stay cold with highs in the 30's on the mountains & 40's at lake level through Friday. Then we warm into the 40's on the mountains over the weekend, and 50's at lake level. - We could see a weak system push into CA by Tuesday the 19th, possibly followed by some stronger storms through the last week of March.
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Short Term Forecast
It's a cold morning across the Tahoe basin with temperatures in the teens and a fresh coating of snow on the mountains.
The fast-moving front that swept through Tuesday evening was expected to drop a coating up to 2 inches, with the best chance of the higher amounts on the north side of the lake. The initial front that swept through dropped 1-2 inches, but a 2nd band of snow that moved through the north side of the lake and down the east side dropped another inch or two.
That gave some mountains on the north and east side of the lake a total of 3-4 inches. That brings the March totals to 2-4 feet so far on top of the record-breaking February totals.
Dry & Warming Through the Weekend:
High pressure is building in today through the weekend, bringing us the first prolonged period without storms since the last week of January. We start out cold today with a cold east wind gusting 40-50 mph on the mountain tops.
Temperatures are cold for Wednesday with highs in the 20's on the upper mountains and 30's at lake level. Then warming 10 degrees Thu-Fri with highs in the 30's on the upper mountains and 40's at lake level, and lighter winds. Then for the weekend, we warm another 10 degrees with highs in the 40's on the upper mountains and 50's at lake level!
The ridge amplifies up into Canada early next week. By Tuesday a system is trying to undercut the ridge into CA.
As it runs into high pressure over the area it weakens or splits. The European and several other models show a weak system trying to push in by Tuesday afternoon. The GFS model runs show the system splitting with the southern piece moving into Southern CA, and eventually bringing us some precipitation by next Thu-Fri. This first weak system would likely be warm as well with high snow levels.
The ridge may continue to weaken and shift east through the last week of March, with the trough in the eastern Pacific pushing closer to the West Coast.
The jet stream extending into CA may help to push in some stronger systems the weekend of the 22nd-24th, with more storms possible through the last week of March.
Here is a look at the GFS ensemble mean run for total precipitation forecast through Tuesday morning.
Then the forecast for Tuesday afternoon through the 29th of March.
Most of the forecast models agree that we could see a stormier pattern Tuesday and beyond. The unreliable CFSv2 is also showing above-average precipitation for CA through the last week of March.
Of course, this is all in fantasy range, and the models struggle in the long-range during the change in the seasons. We will have to see if March comes in and goes out like a lion, with a little lamb in the middle.
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