Spring Break in Lake Louise
A short update this morning on the model trends for our two storms this week. I admit I slept in a little, and then waited for the new 12z Euro run before putting together the forecast.
We have mild weather today into Monday with highs in the 50's, but the winds will start to pick up on Monday ahead of the first storm.
The latest trends are for a faster arrival of the storm late Monday night into early Tuesday morning. The European model has been consistent on a wetter scenario over the past week versus the other models. We knew something would have to give. In the past 24 hours the GFS has now trended wetter and on the latest 12z runs is actually wetter than the European model! The NAM model is also similar to the GFS on the latest run.
So that ups the total precipitation forecast with this cold front moving through on Tuesday. Here is the latest GFS and European precip forecast.
The European model did pull back a little on this latest run but was wetter on the run last night. So we will have to see the trend into Monday to see if the models all end up with over half an inch of liquid along the crest.
There is colder air moving in on Tuesday with this cold front. The snow levels may start around 9,000 feet Monday night and then falling to 8,000 feet by Tuesday morning as the heaviest precip moves in. Snow levels may drop to 7,000 feet by midday Tuesday and then to lake level by the time things are winding down Tuesday evening. So right now it looks like mostly all snow above 8,000 feet, and about half of the storm snow above 7000 feet.
That does this to the updated snowfall forecast.
We will have to keep watching to see if the European model trends back wetter and if the GFS and NAM model runs stay wetter. I'm hoping we can squeeze out 6 inches of snow above 8k along the crest if they do.
The air behind this first weakening cold front is not that cold and we rebound quickly back into the 40's on Wednesday to near 50 at lake level. We should have a sunny day during this brief break between storms.
Then on Thursday the next storm moves in. This is another cold front but stronger, colder, and tapping a little more moisture. It still looks like the heaviest precipitation falls to our North, but as the front moves through we could see some heavy snowfall with falling snow levels and snow showers behind the front. The heaviest precip looks to fall later Thursday into Thursday night and then tapering off to scattered showers by Friday morning.
The latest GFS run has up to 1.6 inches of liquid along the crest with lesser amounts going East across the Tahoe basin. The latest European model runs is wetter with up to 2.3 inches of liquid along the crest. It has the support of the Canadian model on that wetter scenario.
GFS through Friday...
Euro through Friday...
This storm has much colder air with it as a cold trough pushes into the West Coast to visit us for a while. The snow levels may start around 8,000 feet Thursday morning, but then should fall to 7,000 feet by midday, and lake level by Thursday evening. That means we could see heavy snowfall for all elevations Thursday night. Snow levels could drop as low as 3,000 feet by Friday morning which means we could see snow into Reno and Carson City.
Finally a cold storm that could see snowfall at lake level. Let's hope the heavy precip with the cold front crashes snow levels as fast as possible. Here is the initial snowfall forecast by Friday morning. This is 6 days out so plenty of time to adjust.
Behind this storm we have cold air in place next weekend with highs only in the 20's on the mountains and 30's at lake level. This trough is forecast to sit near the West Coast keeping the storm door open through the end of the month.
That should keep storms moving in every few days at least through the week of the 22nd if not longer. Looking at the long-range runs of the operational models, the next storm could move in next Sunday-Monday, with more lined up behind that. These should continue to be colder storms as well.
We could be sitting here a week from today with 1-2+ feet of fresh snow on the mountains with another storm approaching. Let's hope this forecast is what it looks like.
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