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Tahoe Daily Snow

Winter Forecast/First Accumulations Possible....

Summary:

Cool Fall weather continues this week and into next week.  By next Thursday we could see a cold trough bring in cold air and precip in the form of snow, even down to lake level.  If this holds we could see the first measurable accumulations on the mountains.

Details:

The weather has been cool and breezy the last few days.  The weather will remain cool with clouds and sun into the beginning of next week, with highs in the 60's at lake level.  

For the last couple of weeks we have been watching the long-range model runs showing a possible trough near the end of the month merging with a tropical system moving North in the Eastern Pacific.  I have been weary of any forecasts more than a week out.  Even within a week now the GFS is flip-flopping a little with the system next week.  After consistently showing a trough pushing into CA next Wed-Thu it started splitting the system on the runs last night, even splitting it enough on the 0z run to where we saw no precip at all.

The latest runs this morning are still splitting the system as it comes onshore somewhat, but the European model runs and some of the other models are holding the trough together as is digs into CA with plenty of cold air, and pulling in moisture from tropical storm Olaf.  Now that we are in the day window it starts to get a little more interesting as confidence in some sort of a system next week will start to build over the next few days if the models continue to show the same scenario.  

Here is a look at the drier scenario on the GFS with only light amounts of precip making it into the Tahoe area.  The European model is showing up to an inch of liquid.

gfs

So we will keep watching and I will update more often as we get closer.  I will also be heading back East next Wednesday and when I leave town it usually helps with snowfall.  It would be kind of interesting if the first measurable snow came from a storm that merged with a tropical system named Olaf that also shares its name with a famous snowman...

olaf

Winter Forecast:

We have released the Opensnow Winter forecast. (not to be confused with the BA Winter forecast)  I would ask that you read the entire post to understand how the forecast was made.  

These forecasts would not be possible without the hard work of Dr. Amato Evan from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. OpenSnow partnered with Dr. Evan on this project and he worked lots of nights and weekends to produce this first-of-its-kind forecast.

These forecast were made by gathering snowfall data from weather stations that are located at or near ski areas, finding a relationship between this historical snowfall data and global ocean temperatures, assessing the current temperature of the world’s oceans and the forecast for how these ocean temperatures will change during the upcoming winter season, and then combining our estimate of future ocean temperatures with our knowledge of the ocean’s impact on snowfall patterns. 

Using the forecasted conditions for this Winter against the historical snowfall for each resort, we were able to come up with a forecast for each resort based on historical snowfall.  You can see the forecast for each individual resort on the resort pages, so check out your favorite mountain!  

Here is the link to the Winter Forecast and discussion.

What is my take on the forecast?  I am still cautiously optimistic.  I think we are in uncharted territory with the amount of warm water in the Eastern Pacific as compared to the last 2 super strong El Ninos.  The opensnow Winter forecast does take into account all regions of the ocean so I think the forecast is reasonable.  Taking Squaw Valley's forecast for example it is 98% - 134% of average snowfall.  Just looking at the last 2 super strong El Nino seasons of 82/83 & 97/98 I would say the higher end of the forecast seems reasonable, but with the uncertainty with the opposite ocean temps this season in the Eastern Pacific I feel more comfortable with the lower end and saying we have a decent chance of an average snowfall season.  The reasons for this thinking I have discussed in several of the previous posts over the last couple of months.

Stay tuned....BA

 

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