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Showing posts from 2012

Final Storm in Series Starts Tomorrow, Then We Dry Out

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First of all Happy Holidays to all! Thank you for the very nice comments on the mountain!

Now back to business; A well advertised storm will be moving in tomorrow night. The squeeze is on again as blocking ridges of high pressure will force that storm down through our area. Unlike the last storm, the exit door is wide open so we will not get 4 days of heavy snowfall. Here is a look at how things will shape up tomorrow.



I actually talked about this one in the beginning of the month. In my last post I mentioned that this storm will have a more profound affect south of Lake Tahoe. That is still the case. However, I do expect a foot of snow for the Northern Tahoe Sierra and Carson range by Wednesday night.

I do not see any major precipitation events after this next storm for 2-3 weeks. We are going to dry out. We may have a weak storm come into the area New Years day, but the models are picking up on a long dry period.

That is the bad news, the good news is that around the 17th of January…

It Will Keep Snowing

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Another strong wave of snow is coming into the Tahoe area with significant snow for the Sierra and Tahoe Basin set for this afternoon through X-Mas Eve morning. I talked about this wave a week ago and am still impressed. Here is a look at late tonight:


This storm will have a greater impact in South Lake Tahoe area but will deliver 2-4 feet of additional accumulation for all of the Sierra around Tahoe. I believe Slide Mountain will pick up an addition 18-30 inches in the Carson Range. This storm will continue until tomorrow afternoon.

There will be a quiet period tomorrow night. For those of you looking for cold weather, it will be very cold Christmas Eve night.

The next storm comes in late on the 25th and will last through the 26th. This storm will again have a more profound impact in the South Lake Tahoe area. Here is a look very late on the 25th as this storm approaches:


I expect another 1-3 feet for the Sierra with the heavier amounts south. The Carson range should get an additiona…

Storm Update

Forecast from prior posts are right on. The next big moisture plume should arrive late morning early afternoon. Then another tomorrow morning. Snow amounts will be in the 4-8 feet range. Much of it depends on where you are. I am still looking at 4-5 feet for Slide Mountain with very good coverage down to the Washoe Valley.

The valley forecast from last post is close, but it appears I may have underestimated the amount of snow. I am now looking for 1-3 feet for the foothills above 5,500 feet and up 6-12 inches for the valley floors.

In addition, the storm for the 27th is still looking good with another 1-2 feet for the Tahoe resorts. It appears the heaviest snow may be the south side of the lake down to Mammoth. I will talk more about this storm tomorrow.

Merry X-Mas!

Quick Storm Update

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The storm is currently approaching from the Northwest with the first wave of moisture due later this morning. Here is the NAM weather model for total precip up until Monday. The models are starting to increase the amount of precip coming. This forecast is talking 8 inches for NW side of Tahoe and 4-5 inches for the entire Sierra around Tahoe. I believe lake level will pick up at least 2 feet of snow while the Sierra above 8,000 feet can expect 4-8 feet. The Carson Range should be in the 4 foot range by late Monday. For more details about the storm see my post from yesterday.

Reno and Carson City will also see snow. Very difficult to forecast. The foothills above 5,500 feet should have a pretty decent snow event (12+ inches), while the valleys should pick up 2-6 inches. Again very difficult to predict how much of this makes it over the mountains. I am much more comfortable forecasting Sierra snowfall amounts.

Merry Christmas!


Giant Slow Moving Storm To Slam Tahoe With Another On Its Heels

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Storm 1
I sound like a broken record, but the snowy pattern is going to continue. The first of two very large storms is knocking on the door right now. It will bring very windy conditions this afternoon into this evening. Wind prone areas of the eastern foothills could easily see 70mph winds.

By tomorrow the precip moves in. This storm is moving very slowly, so the models are predicting a major snow event for the Sierra and Leeward Valleys. It is going to snow in the Sierra, non-stop, from tomorrow morning through Monday afternoon. Much of that snow will be very heavy at times. Here is why, notice the blocking that is occurring forcing the front to remain stationary, remember to click on an image to enlarge.



Needless to say, mountain travel this weekend should NOT be attempted! Also with the copious amounts of snow on a very solid base, avalanche dangers will be high and you should check the Sierra Avalanche site. A link to that site appears on the right side of this web page.

Here is…

Snowy Pattern Continues

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Not much has changed since I last blogged. I will try to pinpoint the powder days that are upcoming, there should be many. First of all we are moving deeper into a very cold snowy pattern. I have charted it out. Basically, we have a blocking ridge of high pressure that is dropping Arctic Cold into Central Canada (See post on Arctic Oscillation). That is forcing a large cold air mass down through our area that is tapping into a very wet moisture tail. Remember, you can click on any image and get a much bigger picture.



This afternoon and this evening we will see more snow coming to the Sierra. It will tapper off later tonight and leave between 2-6 inches in the Sierra and Carson Range. Probably the lower amount in the Carson Range (Mt. Rose). Tomorrow should be great, just like today. Perhaps a bit more pow.

Now the fun gets started. It looks like near constant moderate snowfall in the Sierra and Carson Ranges starting Sunday night and lasting until Tuesday afternoon. I look for 1-2 fee…

Stormy Pattern to Return Starting Tomorrow Night

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I apologize for my absence. I have been very busy with my day job and since the weather has been tame there was no need to blog. However things are changing. Starting with a nice little storm for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday will usher in some winds while Wednesday will bring precip. Wrap around moisture could be on tap for Thursday and this is a much cooler storm and will be all snow. As the cold front comes through on Wednesday, snow levels will drop to the valley floors. An area of wrap around moisture could affect the 395 corridor south of I-80 with up to 6 inches of snow late Wednesday into Thursday.

Here is a forecast for Wednesday midday:


We are about to enter a very stormy pattern as a NW flow will come into the area and bring with it a series of storms. I am impressed with the storm heading our way for Sunday:


Next week the pattern looks to sustain as another storm is coming our way for Wednesday the 19th:


This pattern should bring major snow to the area. It is a …

Storm Update - Snow Level Holding at 7,500

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Wave 2 of our 3 wave storm is all snow above 7,500 feet according to the NWS. Snow levels may actually drop down to 7,000 feet as this wave progresses. Mt. Rose has already picked up between 12-18 inches of snow and that amount should increase to around 2-3 feet of very wet snow. Perfect to form a base. That is the good news, the bad news is that the NWS believes the next storm, which is even larger than the last two,  will have a snow level between 9,000 and 10,000 feet. Areas like Slide Mountain and the western Sierra Crest are going to get 5+ inches of precipitable water out of this storm. I am not going to guess what that will do to the snow but it is obviously not good. We will just have to see how it shakes out. In the meantime, the Truckee River is going to flood with all this moisture. I believe minor flooding, but you should be prepared. All small streams and creeks have the potential for flooding, so if you live near White's, Galena, Thomas or other creeks, be prepared. …

Storm Update - Snow Elevation Forecast Drops

The dangerous winds for the Sierra Foothills on the leeward side will remain in effect. However, the NWS is now talking about those winds being strongest well south of Reno. My original analysis was for the possibility of 100mph plus winds in wind prone areas like Arrow Creek. I think we will see winds up to 100mph but the precip will shield us from the winds going any higher. Those winds will be tonight so hunker down!

Snow elevation forecasts now are calling for snow above 7,000-7,500 feet. If this happens, the entire Mt. Rose ski area will be open by Monday as they will see in the neighborhood of 5-10 feet of very wet snow. That is great news, but often times God does not include the NWS in His forecast plan, so keep doing your dances, prayers or whatever else may work.

Stay Tuned ...

Five Days of Storms Starts This Afternoon

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The series of storms I talked about in my last post is knocking on the door right now. Here is what to expect through the weekend:


Starting this afternoon a storm will move in from the south and west and bring precipitation to the area especially the western Sierra. Snow levels look to be about 7,000 feet for this one. This is the weakest in the bunch and will move out quickly. I expect 6-12 inches of snow for Mt. Rose, while the Western Sierra areas could easily pick up double that. Forecast for late tonight:
Larger system moves in very early Friday morning. This is a much warmer system that taps into the subtropical jet. Expect damaging winds on Thursday night / Friday morning. This will spill heavy rain into the valley and the NWS is concerned about possible flash flooding. Snow levels will be at 8,000 feet or higher. Where it snows there could be a possible 2-4 feet. However it looks like this will be rain for most Tahoe areas and possibly half of Mt. Rose too.
An even larger system …

Warm Wet Storm Starts Wednesday Goes Through Weekend

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A large storm will pick up ample sub-tropical moisture and should bring very wet weather to the Sierra and Western Nevada. This one is tricky to say the least. As of now, it looks like snow levels could be as high as 9,000 feet for most of this event as the storm taps into a very warm moisture flow from the south. Much of the Sierra could pick up in the 6-10 inch range (liquid precip). If those snow levels could drop down to 8,000, this will build a terrific base in the higher altitude ski areas, like Mt. Rose and Mammoth. The lake level areas like Squaw Valley will see almost all rain on the lower mountain as things look right now.

I have charted what is forecast by the GFS weather model for Saturday. There is a giant storm to our north that is picking up sub tropical moisture from our southwest and bringing that to Tahoe and especially the western crest of the lake.


Bands of heavy precip will start Thursday night and last through Sunday. The valley's will pick up much needed rai…

Last Wave Comes Tonight and Early Tomorrow

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Expect about 6 inches of snow above 8,000 feet. Some of that may be rain. Luckily, this wave is going to hit at the coolest time of the day and hopefully that will keep snow levels down. There is some concern about this last wave making it to Rose. I think it will.

I have a number of connections in the commodity market business. They live off the long term forecast and have made a real science out of it. I just read a very informative conversation about the Arctic Oscillation or AO. The AO is measured from -4 to +4. It indicates how much cold air is bottled up in the Arctic. The higher that number, the more cold air is bottled up. I have described this in past columns but am repeating it again because last year we spent much of the winter in positive territory. This winter is going to be different. We have already seen very cold arctic air coming down through the USA. I expect to see more of that. Whether or not that cold air makes it to Tahoe is irrelevant. The cold air provides two …

Storm Will Continue To Send Moisture Our Way

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This storm is located now off the coast of Washington. It is a very large storm that should continue to send short wave energy down the coast. I am still looking at another 6-12 inches by next Wednesday evening of very wet snow for the higher elevations. Here is a look at the EC forecast for Wednesday late morning:


This wave will be the last and the most potent from this storm.

This storm came as advertised with very high elevation snow. Sven over at Unofficial Mt. Rose, reported on the conditions Saturday (Link to his column in right margin). Many of the Tahoe resorts (all lower in elevation than Rose) saw all rain expect at the very top.

Long term things are not looking as bad as my last post. The machine should get cranking and there exists a chance for some fairly significant precip next week, especially toward the end of the week 11/30. Here is an EC look at total precip through the 2nd of December:


The model has the majority of the precip coming around the 11/29 - 12/1. NWS is a…

Stormy 5 Days Ahead, Then Dry

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Ok, we have been watching this for better than 2 weeks. It really looked like things were shaping up nicely. However, conditions have changed, our alley has significantly widened and unfortunately, as it looks now, the real heavy precip will be moving north of us.

However, the next 5 days bring a series of storms and short waves to the area. Our best chance for heavy snow looks like very early Sunday morning. Here is a GFS look for early Sunday morning:


You can clearly see the main storm is still north and west. It will continue to send precip our way through Tuesday and possibly longer.

Unfortunately, these are very warm storms and snow levels could be in the 8,000-9,000 foot level for most of the event. I think Slide looks like all snow, but other resorts that start around lake level are going to get a health dose of rain up to at least 8,000 feet.

These two storms are important for us. Hopefully precip increases and snow levels fall. I am guessing the Sierra, west of Lake Tahoe, co…

Squeeze Play Coming

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Short term things are looking pretty good. This storm should dump about 6-12 inches of fresh snow on Slide Mountain. My friends over at Unofficial Mt. Rose have reported that the snow guns are working over time and with the cold weather, they should be very productive. Things are getting close at Mt. Rose. We have another weaker storm coming in for next Thursday and Friday. This storm is actually going to travel down the coast, go right past us and then make an abrupt 180 degree turn, come back north and head toward our area. Or so the models are forecasting. We should get something out of that storm. Long term, things look really good ... read on.

Ok, I have to admit that I made this one up but I kind of like it, so I will stick with it. First let me define the squeeze play. High Pressure over Hudson Bay blocks storms and sends them down the west coast. Meanwhile High pressure moves west into the Pacific ocean. This creates an alley for storms to move down the west coast, squeezing b…

Storm Hits Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Storm on Horizon

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What a beautiful run of weather we have had for what seems like forever. With the exception of just a few days, the weather has been pretty nice since the beginning of April.

However, who wants nice weather. You can't ski on rocks. I think I speak for many people when I say, "Bring on the crummy weather"!

Well, if you believe the EC model, that crummy weather is knocking on the door. If you have not shut down your irrigation system (sprinklers) go out and do it now. That is because it is going to get really cold. Saturday night the low temps will be down around zero in the Sierra (or colder) and low teens in the valley.

This change is due to a decent storm that will usher in cold air and some moisture. We have been talking about this for a couple of weeks now. Here is my best guess for this weather event:

1-2 feet of snow along the Sierra Crest North and West of Lake Tahoe with lesser amounts in the Carson Range (6-12 inches at slide). This is not going to be the precip …

Major Changes Headed Our Way

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Our weather is going to stay nice through most of next Wednesday with high's in the 60's and perhaps even a 70 or two. However that is all going to change come Thursday 11/8. Our ridge of high pressure which is keeping our weather very mild is going to get shoved south and west and that will open a corridor for a series of storms. We should enter a stormy period that should bring decent precipitation our way through the end of the month.

First things first, here is a look at the EC Forecast for late Thursday:

It looks like a decent wave of precip will be here for Thursday/Friday and then another shot of decent precip on Saturday. This storm will usher in cold air and we should see all snow on Slide Mountain. How much snow? Here is a look at the EC precip total forecast:


For some reason, EC usually forecasts low end precip. I would not be at all surprised if we see double these amounts. I look for 2-4 inches at the crest west of Lake Tahoe through next weekend and similar or pe…

Weather Pattern Changes Coming Slowly

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Current We have an impressive front approaching the Pacific NW coast. Unfortunately we have a strong ridge of high pressure that is very dry. These two air masses are going to collide. The result will be the ridge will be weakened as will the front. That means a severely weakened storm will come into our area Thursday and Thursday night. The storm will produce light rain and snow for the mountains with little if any precipitation for the valleys on Thursday and Thursday night. Right now Halloween does not look bad for the trick or treat'ers.
Mid-Term Looking ahead, the ridge will build back in and by the weekend through early next week our temps could be 10 degrees above normal so prepare for another shot of Indian Summer. 
Toward the end of next week, a much more impressive storm is headed our way. The models are all advertising this storm with slight differences with strength and timing. The European model, which has been by far the most accurate for almost a year now, has this f…

Storm Continues to Dump

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Current
3 feet of snow has fallen in some areas of the Sierra with what appears to be another major snow event poised to hit this evening. The following shows the EC Model for tonight:


When all is said and done, many mountain areas around Lake Tahoe will pick up 4-6 feet of snow. That should provide a very nice start to the winter. The good news is that this storm was not an anomaly such as a typhoon crossing from Japan. This storm dropped out of the Gulf of AK and picked up ample moisture from the Pacific Ocean and dumped. That is a good sign for the storm machine to start cranking up.

El Nino Watch
El Nino has weakened and the ENSO outlook is for neutral to weak conditions. About 1/2 the models are saying we will move into a weak to moderate El Nino for the winter of 2012/2013, while the other half are saying we will remain in a neutral ENSO.

Summer is Over
Summer appears to be over. 80's and 70's will not be seen again around here for some time as the long range forecast is c…

Strong Storm Targets Tahoe

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First of all let me apologize for my absence. I had a death in the family and have been out of town for nearly 10 days. However, had you read my post from the 3rd of October you were warned that a storm was very likely to make it down the coast and hit our area hard (Post From October 3rd) starting today. I must say, getting it right from that far out is the exception rather than the rule especially since I was the only fool talking about it 19 days ago.

This storm is packing a very good precipitation punch and areas north and west of Tahoe will pick up in excess of 2 feet of snow at the crest and up to a foot of snow at Lake Level, especially on the north shore. Snow levels are plummeting and snow is falling as low as 5,000 feet which means travel on I-80 is going to be a mess.

Here is the precipitation forecast through Thursday, remember this is liquid precipitation:


As you can see, some areas north and west of Tahoe could pickup 3-5 inches of liquid precip. That means isolated area…

NOAA Issues El Nino Watch; No Storms in the Near Term

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We have been discussing El Nino since July. However, at that time we moved into a weak El Nino and it has weakened slightly since. However, NOAA is still predicting a moderate El Nino through the winter which bodes well for snow in Tahoe.

We have had unseasonably warm and quite frankly beautiful weather through the entire month of September. That is going to change starting tomorrow and  you will feel those changes through the weekend. We have a large blocking ridge of high pressure that is keeping what few storms there are, well to our north. This storm is the exception and a piece of energy should break off and give us some very light precip. Perhaps a dusting of snow above 10,000 feet on Saturday night.

Remember, about this time last year we had a typhoon cross the pacific and slam the Sierra with rain and high elevation snow. Of course it did not snow again until mid-January. I do not see that happening at all this year. There are indications that around the 18th of this month, ou…

El Nino is Coming But When?

First let's talk about the significance of El Nino; El Nino winters almost certainly are average to significantly above average for the Sierra Nevada mountains around Lake Tahoe. After last winter (or lack thereof), El Nino would be a welcome site. El Nino is warming surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific waters. Forecasters who want an early jump on how the winter will shape up usually start with the ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation). Currently we are in a neutral ENSO. I believe that is changing as I write this. There are many indicators that things are radically different than last year ... some scientific (like ocean temperatures) and some not so scientific. Last year I mentioned that many forecasters saw wet early winter for our area. I did not climb on that bandwagon. We moved into a strong La Nina early on and that more times than not means below average precip. The previous winter meant that La Nina brought giant storms and well above average precip ... so many s…

Deep Cold Low Pressure System Heading Our Way. Valley Snow on Tuesday?

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If you enjoy the warm weather, do not get too acclimated. That is because an unusually large storm is coming straight out of the Gulf of AK and heading for your backyard. We have one more full day of above average temperatures. Then on Sunday, starting in the afternoon, the winds will start to increase ahead of this large storm. There should be a decent precip event for the Sierra around Tahoe and there is a very good chance of rain and then snow spilling over to the valleys. The snow will come down to 4,500-5,000 feet. Crazy to imagine we had a big storm in January with 11,000 foot snow levels and this one, which will start as all rain, will bring valley snow in June! Here is a quick peek at the forecast for very early Tuesday morning:


Of course there is not enough energy for any accumulation and the ground is very warm. However, just the idea that it could hit 95 today and then be in the 30's for highs (in the Sierra and foothills) on Tuesday is pretty amazing. Blame that big po…

El Nino by September/October?

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After nearly 2 months of stable weather, a strong storm for this time of year, has moved into our area and is bringing some very welcome precipitation. Back in the beginning of April, our La Nina conditions died and moved into ENSO-neutral conditions. That brought on our very stable weather until this storm. Does this mean another weather pattern change could be upon us? In a word no. Our weather will quickly recover and become stable again gradually getting warmer as summer approaches. I believe this summer will bring above average temperatures. We cannot have below average precip because we average nearly no precip in the months of June, July and August combined.

Many of the weather models have our ENSO-neutral (ENSO = El Nino Southern Oscillation) conditions possibly transitioning into El Nino by the September, October time frame. Why does this matter? Simple, El Nino will almost certainly bring us above average precip for the winter of 2012/2013. After going below normal for 2011/…

Stormy and Cold Through Friday

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Again, my day job has prevented me studying the weather patterns. My apologies. Things should settle down in the coming months, I hope!

We are in the midst of a very stormy pattern that is going to give the Sierra good dumpage over the next 3 days. The majority of that will come late Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon. We are expecting 2-3 feet at the Western Crest of the Sierra and 10-18 inches in Carson range, above 7,000 feet. The snow levels will drop as this system brings in a potent cold front. There will be some valley spillover in the form of rain and then snow late on Friday. Some areas in the foothills could pick up close to .75 inches of rain by Friday night. Here is a look at the precip forecast through Saturday afternoon:


Here is a look at the forecast for early Friday morning. This storm will effect Central through Northern California:

If you are worrying about water for the summer, we did pick up close to 250 inches of snow at the Western Crest of the Northern …