Tahoe Daily Snow

Small Storm Incoming...

Summary

- Sunday it will be windy with increasing clouds and highs in the 40's. Upper mountain ridge gusts to 100 mph should shut down some lifts on the upper mountains. - The next storm moves in by Sunday evening and moves out by Monday morning. We could see 3-9 inches of snow on the mountains by Monday morning. - High pressure builds in quickly behind the storm bring dry and mild weather for the rest of the week. Highs will be in the 40's on the upper mountains and 50's at lake level Tuesday through Friday. - Next weekend we could see a storm move in on Sunday the 23rd, with another storm behind that for the 25th.

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Short Term Forecast

It is already really windy this morning.  The mountaintop sensors are showing gusts up to and exceeding 100 mph.  That will make for a windy day today with upper mountain lifts being shut down on wind prone mountains.  Temperatures are already into the 40's down low.  We have increasing clouds as the next storm moves into Northern CA.

sat 2

The storm is still as big as yesterday, but you can see that the southwest flow out ahead of the front is turning from the south as it pushes onshore into CA.  The trough is digging off the CA coast helping to tilt the flow from south to north.  The front is also going to start splitting apart tonight.

That will keep the heavy precip moving into Northern CA from pushing into the Tahoe basin.  I'm not a big fan of storms that have the flow turn from the south or even slightly southeast as they push in.  That makes it hard for the precipitation to push over the mountains.  I've seen big storms dump a lot of rain on the west side of the crest and push barely anything into the Tahoe basin.

This is why the forecast has been pretty low all week for a storm this impressive looking.  The question is still how much precip will push over the crest tonight.  The forecast models still show wide-ranging amounts, but overall they have all come down a little today.  Here is a look at the GFS on top and NAM below.  The GFS is now one of the drier runs and the NAM is still the wettest. 

gfs

nam

I put a black dot near Donner Summit so that you can see how the GFS has only 4 tenths over the dot, and the NAM has an inch of liquid.  Yesterday the GFS had 9 tenths, so it has dropped by half an inch.  The total model average has dropped by a tenth today down to 0.71 inches of liquid.

I don't trust storms like this and have seen them struggle to push in precip which is why I have liked the forecast using the model average has been coming up with.  I had to push the GFS a little to squeeze out up to a half inch along the crest to get the average to 7 tenths when averaged with the European model that is still similar to yesterday with up to 9 tenths along the crest.  Overall the drop has lowered the snowfall forecast slightly this morning.

forecast

I know that my forecast is a little lower than other forecasts, but I'm using my typical method.  So I guess we will see what happens tonight.  The high end of the NAM would only bring up to a foot near the crest.

The other change with this storm has been to speed it up a little.  We could see snow shower push in NW of the lake before 4 PM this afternoon.  The heaviest snowfall looks to be from around 8 PM to 4 AM now, with the storm moving out by daybreak on Monday.  Snow levels look to sit around 6,000 feet or just below.

Extended Forecast

Monday is cold with highs in the 30's and wind gusts to 40 mph in the morning, coming down in the afternoon.

High pressure builds in quickly over CA bringing mild temperatures into the 50's at lake level Tuesday through Thursday.

ridge

The ridge shifts east on Friday with some weak systems moving through to our north into next weekend.  That should cool temperatures back into the 40's with some clouds by Friday.

The European model shows the next storm digging far enough south to bring us snow by next Sunday the 23rd.  Then another storm for Christmas Day.  The GFS model holds off on a storm until Christmas Day.

The pattern the last week of the month looks like it could have a trough over the West Coast.  That would bring some colder air and open the door to a few storms from the 25th to the 31st.

trough

The long-range ensemble mean runs do increase precipitation chances through that period.

gfs ens mean

Stay tuned...BA

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