Storm Strengthens

Storm Update
In what is typical La Nina fashion, the storm I have been discussing for the last couple of weeks has strengthened and is heading to Tahoe. This is an extremely deep low pressure system, especially for this early in the year. It is also a very cold storm. This storm formed in the Bering Sea, dropped into the Gulf of Alaska, and is now heading down the West Coast. As it approaches our area, it will tap into additional Pacific Moisture. It will rise into the Sierra, Condense and dump! There are several waves of snow associated with this massive storm. These waves will represent very heavy snow. The first wave should start up around 3:00am on Saturday and last for about 12 hours. Then we will get a brief reprieve before another short wave shows up around 10:00pm on Saturday Night and should last through Sunday morning. From there, we can expect light to moderate snow to last through Monday morning. I will stay with my snow total amounts of 12 days ago, 2-4 feet in the Sierra around Tahoe. More, south of Tahoe. Looks like Kirkwood and Mammoth are the big winners here. The Crest around Mammoth will pick up 4-8 feet, which makes this a real Sierra weather event.

Here is a look at snow through Sunday:

Mt. Rose Open Top to Bottom on Thanksgiving?
Currently it looks like there is an excellent chance of this, which will be the first time in several years. Cross your fingers, they are excellent at snow management up there! 

Dangerous Winds
Although the local weather people have already picked up on this, dangerous winds will accompany this storm from Friday afternoon through Sunday. You may want to bring in the lawn furniture before it gets blown into the valley or through your neighbors picture window. 


Valley Snow?
Yes. It will snow in the leeward valleys. I am thinking 12-16 inches in the foothills and 6-8 inches on the valley floor by Monday. This is no certainty as their will be a strong shadow affect by the Sierra which makes valley precip forecasts sketchy at best.

Cold Storm Means Light Powder
It is worthy of mention that the NWS is predicting water to snow ratios of 20 to 1. That is some seriously light powder and a real treat this early in the season. Please take warning: Although SAC (Sierra Avalanche Center) has not posted any advisories, the snow will be somewhat unstable due to the lack of volume and will be prone to sliding in steeper areas. Couple that with a shallow snowpack underneath, and conditions could be dangerous. Please be careful out there in the back country, this will be a long winter and there is no need to ruin it for yourself after the first storm.

Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend
Temperatures will rebound nicely. The sun comes back late Tuesday and should last through Friday. So Travel to your destination over Thanksgiving looks really good. However, there is some uncertainty about Saturday night through Sunday night. Another large storm is approaching. Currently the timing looks like Monday, the 29th, will bring more heavy snow to the area. Be aware, that another storm is coming toward the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. As we approach this time I will post another column detailing when and where this storm will hit. For now, here is what GFS has for Sunday night:


As we move into Monday, the storm, which is a split off the main body moves into our area, here is a look at Monday night:


Needless to say, this should bring additional snow to our mountain resorts. Right now we are looking at an additional 1-2 feet which could open the entire mountain up at Rose. We will have to wait and see. Also, this storm is 10-12 days out and things can change a lot.

Stay Tuned ...

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