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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Warm Weather Continues, But Changes Coming

Typical Tahoe
The Jet Stream remains well north of Tahoe which means mild weather with minor interruptions when smaller, weaker storms come through the Lake Tahoe area and leave 6-12 inches of snow behind, followed by more mild weather. That will continue with snow above 7,500 feet today and tonight, then mild Thursday followed by another short wave Friday. I played 9 holes of golf late yesterday afternoon, in shorts pants and short sleeves. Today, with early release, Scott and I will head up the mountain and tear it up for a few hours.

Mid to Upper 60's For Valley This Weekend
A large, warm ridge of high pressure moves in for this weekend through the beginning of next week. That will bring above average temperatures to the entire region with highs in the 50's in the mountains and 60's in the valleys. We may even be able to squeak out a 70 if we are lucky. Look for the slide side parking lot to be filled with tailgaters this weekend.

Extremely Wet Pattern Starts Up In 1 Week
On my last post I talked about the models picking up on a very wet pattern that could exceed what we saw the week before Thanksgiving. At that time I was looking 10-14 days out. We are now a little closer and the models and NWS service are now looking at this more seriously. I just looked at the latest GFS run and it has a series of huge storms heading for the Northern Sierra starting next Wednesday. Here is a forecast for late afternoon on Wednesday:


This is the first in a series of storms that could last more than a week with near constant mountain snow. By the time it is all done, some areas could enjoy an additional 10-15 feet of fresh snow. This appears to be a Pineapple express type anomaly with storms stacked up from Hawaii to Tahoe. These storms will tap into the moisture rich southern jet which is why I am predicting large amounts of precipitation. The MJO around that time will be moving into its later stages which could be responsible for these storms. Remember, the MJO (Meridian Julian Oscillation) is an oscillating pattern from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific of large storms. If conditions are just right, and they appear to be, it can have a profound affect on our weather. Combine that with the extreme negative PNA, which I published last post, and you can see why this is being seriously discussed by the big boys at the NWS.

Disclaimer
This weather change, which is being discussed in almost all circles is still a week away. I am confident that a number of big storms will pummel the area with copious amounts of snow. However it is much too early to say just how much (even though I did).

I will keep an eye on this and refine my snow amount forecasts in the coming days, until then enjoy the beautiful weather and get those powder sticks ready.

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