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Showing posts from February, 2011

Warmer Storms Approach Tahoe

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Tuesday and Wednesday (3/2, 3/3)
The Arctic air has cleared the area making room for a much warmer storm to hit the area starting late on Wednesday and lasting through Thursday. As I wrote in my last blog, the bulk of the energy in this storm is heading north of us. This storm was born in the south and does carry significant moisture. I am pretty comfortable with the time frame of when this storm is going to hit. However, I would be remiss to not mention that the EC model has this storm hitting about 24 hours later on Thursday night. How much precip can we expect? That is a good question. Right now it looks like a quick hitting event that will produce snow at or above Lake Level. Any moisture for the valley will come in the form of rain. However a strong south wind may well shield the valley from any precip. It will be windy. Slide mountain will also be affected by this wind as the snow totals will be less than the Sierra Crest. Here is what the NAM model see's for total precip:


I…

Next Two Storms

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After another healthy shot of snow for the Sierra, we will have gradual warming starting tomorrow. The models are now downplaying the weather event on the 3rd, however both the EC and GFS are in agreement that a storm will be moving through the area. Late on the 2nd our next storm should come in. This is a big storm but does appear to have  most of the energy moving to the north:



The 6th or the 8th looks like more of a direct hit, here is the EC Forecast for the 8th, incidentally, GFS has this storm coming on the 6th of March as a start to a series of storms.


In my last post I talked about a weather pattern change for around the 12th or 13th of March. I may have jumped the gun on that one. I point at two pieces of evidence for this. First, the EC model shows a series of storms heading for Tahoe from the 6th of March through at least the 14th. Secondly, the PNA's positive trend is short lived and starts to trend much more negatively. Take a look:


My gut tells me that this stormy we…

Latest Model Runs Show Increase In Precip Totals - Severe Avalanche Warning

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Current Storm
Just a quick post this morning. I just looked at the latest QPF (quantitative precipitation forecast) run from the NAM weather model. It is calling for about 2-3 inches of liquid precip by Sunday. Remember, this storm is bringing in super cooled Arctic air. Many forecasters are calling for 20-1 or even 25-1 snow to water ratios. That means many parts of the Sierra around Tahoe could pick up 4 feet of snow or more. This will be the lightest snow we have seen in years (champagne powder). Here is a look at the NAM forecast:


Severe Avalanche Danger Today
This from the Sierra Avalanche Center (Click For Sierra Avalanche Center):
Near and above treeline, avalanche danger is HIGH on NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects 32 degrees and steeper. Below treeline avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE on all aspects on slopes 35 degrees and steeper. Large destructive avalanches are likely today.

Next Storm (March 2nd)
The next storm will be warmer and come from the south and west. It too is very large and sh…

Storm Cycle To End Around The 13th or 14th

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Pattern Change
For the first time we are seeing indications that the blocking high to our North and West will be moving on and a ridge will set up to our south and west. This would suggest that our current storm cycle may end in about 14-17 days from now. The NOAA PNA is beginning to trend positive:


The PNA is a very good indicator for our general weather pattern.

In addition, temps look to be on the rebound around this same time with perhaps an above average reading for the first time in weeks. Of course this is still 2-3 weeks down the road.

Storm Update
We are still on Track for a quick moving, very cold storm to hit very early on Friday and last through the day. Then the following Thursday could usher in a series of much larger storms that could hang around for an additional 4-5 days. For more detail see yesterday's post. This series of storms will come from the west and should knock our blocking high out, which would change the weather pattern, at least that is the convention…

Storm Cycle To Start Up Again Friday

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The blocking ridge of high pressure off the Pacific NW coast, with it's clockwise rotation, has created a corridor for cold air to move south out of the Gulf of Alaska, down the NW coast and right into our area. This cold air is sucking warm moist air into it and creating what should be repeated snow events for at least the next couple of weeks. It will remain cold during the entire period, with the only warming coming from the sun, as our air will be exclusively coming out of the north.

Starting Friday and Lasting until about Saturday morning, a quick moving storm will bring super cooled air into our area and leave us a decent blanket of very light powder. This storm will affect the leeward valleys. Expect more snow in your yard if you live in Reno or Carson City. Although there is not a ton of moisture associated with this storm, the water to snow ratio's will be very high, in the 15-1 to 20-1 neighborhood. It think it is a safe bet that the storm leaves behind 1-3 feet of t…

Winter Is Here To Stay

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Expect well below average temperatures, in some cases 30 degrees below average, until next weekend. The storm that is/was being forecasted for Tuesday will drop right down the coast and remain offshore. It will produce no significant precip for our area. The models nailed this one, see my prior post for more.

If you review my prior post, the blocking ridge of high pressure will remain in place for at least the next 2 weeks, and probably longer. That blocking ridge creates a corridor, and favorable northwest flow, for storms to drop down the coast and have a significant affect on our weather. Expect a good 4 or 5 decent storms to drop down the coast and bring moderate to heavy snow to the Sierra over the next few weeks. That of course includes Tahoe. Here is the timing for now:

Early Friday Morning (2/25)


Late Saturday Night (2/26)

 Thursday Morning (3/3)


March 8th


The further out these storms are, the more they are subject to change. I think, however, you get the picture. We will have a …

Extraordinary Weather System Continues To Pound Tahoe

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This is truly an extraordinary weather system. Current conditions in Reno and along the Mt. Rose Cooridor:


LAKE EFFECT SNOW BAND HAS SETUP OFF OF LAKE TAHOE AND THROUGH THE MOUNT ROSE HIGHWAY AREA INTO WASHOE/PLEASANT VALLEY. -- NWS Reno
Yes that does say Lake Effect snow from Tahoe is affecting the Western Nevada Valleys.

Take a look at the big picture currently:


As you undoubtedly felt, a strong cold front moved through the Tahoe area yesterday. Of course with it, cold air has settled in. However a warm front is now pushing up from the south and is preparing to collide with our cold air. The blocking high pressure system is still firmly in place to pull the warm, moist air up into our area. This feeds the storm located off the coast of Southern BC. What does it all mean? Snow and lots of it for the Sierra. We are now leaning toward much of this snow spilling over into the leeward valleys of the Sierra, including Reno and Carson City. The NWS is talking about 5 to 10 inches of snow al…

Next System Shifts North To Tahoe

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Weather Update
I talked about the 2nd system a few posts ago. Initially the models had that system shifting south and just grazing us here in Tahoe. That has changed. That system will move inland and hit the Tahoe area with more heavy snow starting Thursday around noon and lasting through Friday. The system does not have the winds associated with it either. NWS is considering posting a heavy snow warning for the Tahoe Sierra.

After a two day rest, late Monday another system should move into the area. The models are all over the place with this one. I am thinking next Tuesday could be another heavy snow day in the Sierra. The potential exists for another major winter storm.

We will stay in this wintry pattern for at least the next 15 days so conditions should be near perfect.

Today's Conditions
I ventured up the mountain today and it was an epic day. I went to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. They had both their high speed lifts running all day long. Very few people made it up as the parking lot…

Storm Precipitation Total Update

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The models are leaning toward an increase in precipitation. The party gets started tonight. Here is an updated look at storm total precip forecast through Saturday:


There is a large area north of Tahoe in the 6-8 inch range. The northern parts of Tahoe could be looking at nearly 6 inches, while south of the lake is looking around 4 inches. That should translate to 3-7 feet from south to north Tahoe, over the crest.

This storm has increased in size and intensity. Dangerous winds for the leeward areas of the Sierra (Arrow Creek, Galena, Washoe Valley) will increase as the storm approaches. Right now it looks like Reno could get between 1-2 inches of precip. I am guessing that the foothills may pick up as much as a foot of snow starting very late tonight. If you wake up tomorrow morning and it is not totally white, then we dodged the bullet in the valley and were shadowed by the Sierra. However, I am guessing this thing will spill over and bring at least moderate snow (3-5 inches) to the…

Strong, Cold, Wet and Windy Storm Approaches - Start of Two Stormy Weeks

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The storm we have been talking about is on our doorstep and poised to hit hard. This is a large storm with very strong winds and an ample moisture tap. Here is what EC believes we should have in the way of liquid precip by Saturday:


Tahoe is very close to the bullseye. This model is looking at between 2.5 and 3 inches of precip. Because of the cold nature of this storm, that should translate to 2-4 feet of snow coming our way. Here is the timing of the system:

8:00pm Tuesday night - First Big Wave



5:00am Wednesday Morning - Storm Continues To Dump


12:00pm Wednesday Afternoon - More Dumpage



3:00am Friday Morning - Next Storm


The Friday storm will be cutting further south, but we will still get a piece of it.

Looking ahead, Monday (2/21) and the following Thursday (2/24) are looking stormy as well:

Monday 2/21 - Another Storm Forms and drops in


Thursday 2/24 - Chance for Larger Storm



 I will keep a close eye on next week's storms ... Stay Tuned

Still On Track For a Major Mountain Snow Event Next Week

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The models are pretty much in agreement and confident that we will have a snowy Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday next week. Although this storm is fueled by a lot of warm, moist air, snow levels will remain in the 6,000-7,000 foot range which means all snow for most Tahoe Resorts.

Looking forward, it appears as though the blocking high pressure system to the north will remain in place for at least another week and allow at least one other storm to pull moisture around the high and bring it from Hawaii to Tahoe. Therefore this could be a 2 week (or more snow event). Looking any further would be nothing but wishful thinking but my gut tells me that we are about to enter at least 2-4 week stormy period. The NOAA PNA forecast seems to be suggesting the same thing. It is also suggesting that the storms may even get larger, take a look:


Remember, as the PNA goes negative, we get stormy. If you want to follow our storms since October, take a look at the chart above. It looks like we are going ev…

Pattern Change This Weekend, Followed By Solid Week of Storms

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Let's look at how our pattern change will shape up and why I believe this will be a major weather event for Northern and Central Sierra:


There are two decent size storms developing in the Gulf of Alaska. These two storms will work their way down the coast. Meanwhile, a line of moisture from the subtropical jet is setup from Hawaii to the Northern California Coast. The key here is a blocking ridge of high pressure that will prevent the moisture from moving north. This moisture tap will wrap around the ridge as it gets sucked into the two storms as they move further south. These two moderate storms will merge and form one giant storm. That storm will hold together for a day or two and split. Some of the energy will go onshore in southern BC. The other energy will move down the coast and strengthen. It will pull copious amounts of moisture right into Tahoe and dump what should be an impressive amount of snow in the Sierra from Tuesday - Sunday (2/15 -2/20). This should bring quite a …

For You Professional Meteorologists, There Is Still Plenty of Room On The Bandwagon

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I apologize for the headline, but right now we are just waiting for the pattern to change in a little over a week. The good news is that I am not the only one talking about this. The NWS and NOAA have hopped on the bandwagon. I should not be so smug. These guys know a lot more than I do, and get paid to forecast the weather. When they are wrong, it is a big thing. When I am, nobody cares. It is a real risk for them to talk about a pattern change in 8-10 days. But that is also a sign that it is coming and the POW will return to Tahoe. First let's take a look at the PNA, remember a negative number is a good indicator of a stormy pattern:


First Shot At Timelines
This is a very similar pattern to what we saw in December. A massive storm will drop out of the Gulf of Alaska and tap into a very moist subtropical jet and should dump copious amounts of moisture right on Tahoe. As it looks now, we are in the bullseye.

Sunday, Feb 13th is when the fun gets rolling as the first wave of moistur…

Tailgate Weather This Weekend - Storms Return in 10-12 Days

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Above Average Temps For The Next 10-12 Days
 More warm temperatures are headed our way for the weekend as the grills will be in full force on both Saturday and Sunday at the slide parking lot on Mt. Rose. All non-mountain golf courses will be open by Saturday. Can you say Spring Fever? Enjoy this nice stretch of weather.

Stormy Pattern Returns Around February 12th or 13th
Many signs are pointing to the mountains returning to a stormy pattern around the middle of February. Having said that, storms in February are not as strong as storms in December so do not expect a repeat of earlier in the year. Here is a picture of earlier in the year:


Truly some epic dumpage. Having made my disclaimer, remember that La Nina is famous for large storms followed by long periods of mild weather. Right now the models are just now picking up on this change. The EC model has this for the 12th, notice the approaching storm from the northwest:


This should be the first in a series of storms. GFS is just begin…