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Showing posts from January, 2012

Storms Done For Next 10-14 Days

We had some pretty impressive rain totals. Main areas of the Sierra crest picked up 6-10 feet of snow at the very highest elevations. Some areas saw nearly 10 inches of liquid precip over the course of the last week. All of that was much needed. However things are going to dry out for a while. The ground moisture content is very high, so expect some fog for the next few days. Also expect a big warm up. The nearest I can see in the way of a storm cylce appears to be about 10-14 days which brings almost no confidence with it. I will continue to search for storms and give you, my loyal readers, the advanced notice.

Stay Tuned ...

Storm For Sunday/Monday Strengthens

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Next Storm
The last storm in our series of storms is getting more impressive by the hour. In addition, snow levels should be around 5,000 to 6,000 feet max. The storm will crank up Sunday afternoon and last through at least Monday morning. There is now a very adequate moisture tap associated with this storm. The Sierra should pick up 1-3 feet of very skiable powder. The Carson range about 2/3 of that. Here is a forecast for 4:00 Sunday afternoon by the GFS. I am thinking the GFS is a little slow on the storm which may well get going earlier. In any event you can see the moisture tap from the west that is feeding this storm and the NWS has increased their snow totals.


Current Conditions
I went to Mt. Rose Ski area early this morning to get in a few turns. That is what I got, just a few turns. Unfortunately most of the precip from last night came in the form of rain except in the highest elevations. Lake Tahoe rose 2 inches last night as reported by the NWS. The cold front came through v…

Storm 2 is going to start as rain below 9,000 feet

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Warm Air Raising Snow Levels to Start
As storm 2 begins to hit the Sierra, it is mixing with some incredibly warm air. This is causing rain below 9,000 feet. However, cold air is on the way and those snow levels should drop to around 7,500 by 8:00 tonight when the really heavy stuff comes in.

Mountain Should Be Open Tomorrow Morning
I am not speaking for any Tahoe resort, but winds should be manageable tomorrow morning when most ski areas open. There should be a blanket of 2-3 feet of very heavy snow. That should make a nice base and allow some additional terrain to open in the coming days. Some of that snow should be groomed down and most will fall between 8:00pm and 3:00am tomorrow morning. See you up there!

Stay Tuned ...

Storm 1 - Disappointment, Healthy Shot of Moisture Coming Tonight

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Low Snow Totals After Round 1
When the moist air mixed with the dry air, the dry air won. Both the Sierra and Carson range picked up 2-4 inches, which was less than anybody predicted. The Washoe Drive fire appeared to fall victim to wind shifts as the front moved through. Once the wind started pushing the fire back, there was nothing to burn. In any event, moderate to heavy rain tonight will end all chance of fire for now.

Today's Storm Picks Up Moisture
I still like the trajectory of today's storm as it comes in with cold air over warm ocean water. This storm is packing more moisture and should produce much more snow. Some of that moisture will also spill over into the valley's lessening any chance for fire. Again, strong winds will accompany this storm. Expect most of the heavy precip after 10:00 tonight. The snow in the mountains should last through most of tomorrow, although by mid morning, expect amounts to taper off. I am still guessing 2-4 feet of snow out of this st…

Nice Day In Hawaii

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Below is our current weather conditions, yes it is a nice day in Hawaii:


I am liking what I am seeing in the way of moisture and storm trajectory. I am hoping we are on the higher side of some of the forecasted precip ranges. You can see the line of storms being forced south and into our area by the blocking high pressure ridges.

Stay Tuned ...

Storm Update

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Here is what we are looking at right now. Confidence is pretty high. Unfortunately, precip totals, I believe, will fall well short of what we expected just 24 hours ago:

Thursday First wave comes in. Snow levels will be right around 6,500 feet. This wave will not have a strong moisture tap. Add that with the incredibly dry air we have right now and precip totals will be down. I am guessing the Sierra will get perhaps up to an inch of precip by Friday morning. Because of the cooler air, that should translate to around 6-15 inches of snow for most of the Tahoe Sierra and Carson range. Expect pretty high winds on the eastern range Thursday afternoon and evening - Gusts to 75mph.
Friday This continues to be the best chance for significant snow. Right now we are looking at 1.5 - 2.5 inches of liquid precip. This storm is really quite remarkable. Warm air will mix with the colder surface air and play havoc on snow levels. At times snow levels could climb to 9,000 feet. However, that will be sho…

Storm(s) Update

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Latest Trends
The good news is that the latest trends actually have 4 storms coming into our area. The trend is that the snow levels should be much lower for the majority of the event than initially thought. The bad news is that we are not looking at quite as much moisture, but overall expect a major snow event for the Sierra. The crest should pick up between 4-8 feet in the next 7 days. Right now the the upper elevations of the Carson Range look to be in that same area.

Possibility Exists of Heavy Valley Snow on Sunday 1/22
The NWS is looking at a possible Tonopah Low Event. Basically this event is brought on by the weakening of the high pressure which usually prevents storms from spilling over the Sierra. This event has been known to bring very heavy snow to Western NV. The NWS is only considering this as a possibility right now. I will keep an eye on this one.

Storm 1 - Late Wednesday through Thursday
Windy storm that should have snow levels around lake level (6,500 feet).

Storm 2 - F…

Wild Week of Weather

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Update
The timing and precip amounts that I talked about yesterday remain right on as of this morning's model runs with the possible exception of the Friday/Saturday storm bringing more precipitation. Snow levels are the concern here and remain so. Looking at things right now, it appears as though the Thursday storm will start cool and then a warm air overflow will bring snow levels up. The thinking now is everything above 8,000 feet will be all snow.

The large storm set for Friday/Saturday is becoming even more impressive. The west to east trajectory will allow this storm to pick up copious amounts of moisture. The latest GFS run has this storm dropping 6 inches of liquid precip over the crest all in the form of snow. It looks like snow levels for this storm will be around 7,000-8,000 feet as well.

The storm that I had slated for the following Tuesday, looks like it could show up a little earlier. I will talk more about that one when it gets closer but suffice it to say, it looks…

Prepare For Major Changes

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Starting today, prepare for major changes in our weather pattern. Tonight a cold front will be coming through the area. It will snow some in the Sierra, but probably not much. It will bring very cold air that will plunge low temperatures on Monday night into the single digits. This is just the first of a 4 part wave to hit the area. When all is said and done, expect 5-10 inches of liquid precip in the Sierra.

The 2nd wave comes through on Thursday. There are some concerns about snow levels with this system. Right now the NWS is predicting the majority of the precip will be rain under 9,000 feet, especially just south of here. That could make it down to 8,000 feet and we will monitor as this 2nd wave approaches. Here is what GFS thinks for Thursday late morning:


The third and biggest wave is set to come in Friday afternoon and last through Saturday. This system also is raising some concerns about snow levels. Here is the GFS look for Late Friday:


This system will tap into very moist ai…

Favorable Pattern For Good Healthy Dump

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As you know, I have  been tracking a number of variables for the past couple of months. Not the least of which is the cold air bottled up in the Arctic. That air is finally being tapped and released. In addition, a blocking area of high pressure is about to setup west of Hudson Bay. That will block storms from the north and force them south. Our blocking area of high pressure is about to get rubbed out and moved south which should open a very adequate moisture tap. What does all that mean? Dumpage for Tahoe and possibly a good healthy amount. Currently all the models are pointing at this taking place around the middle of next week. The following shows how things set up for next Tuesday, January 17:


Notice the blocking ridge west of Hudson Bay. That will force storms down the coast. That arctic air will also invade the midwest as it spills out of the north.

What does all this mean? Right now the models are all over the place on just how much precip for Tahoe. Here is a look at the GFS …

12z Model Runs Backtrack From Last 3 Days

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Near Term (1-2 Weeks)
I was all set to show you a significant pattern change. Then I took a look at the latest run of the models and could hardly believe my eyes. Yesterday morning, the 3 long range models seemed to be in agreement that 7-9 days would bring cooler, stormier weather to our area. Because the models have been for the most part worthless this year, I decided to take an extra day. Today, the models are all over the place, and from everything that I can see, we will stay in the dry pattern for at least a couple of weeks. The EC model is suggesting around the 20th, our blocking ridge of high pressure could be shoved south and west, however GFS keeps the ridge in place and all the cold air well to our north. This is extremely frustrating as this weather pattern has been in place since the middle of October. At least for now it is only showing faint signs of changing. Even if we do get a change, it will only be small storms for the area. The reason? MJO (Merridian-Julian Oscil…

Strong Signs Emerge For Stormy Pattern Starting Around 1/15

This will be a very quick post. I have been tracking what looks to be a major change in our weather pattern for the last 2 weeks. However, I have been reluctant to talk a great deal about it, mostly because of the winter, or lack thereof, we are currently experiencing. Checking the latest runs of the weather models, the AO and the PNA, I have noticed that all signs are pointing at winter coming to Tahoe around the the 15th of this month. I am heading up to Mt. Rose to catch the early morning corduroy. This afternoon I will lay out my case for this change coming in about 6-8 days.

Stay Tuned ...

High Pressure to Dominate Our Weather for the Next 10-15 Days Before Major Change

A Strong area of high pressure is going to move into our area and produce unseasonably warm temperatures and continued dry weather into the foreseeable future. I have checked with a number of weather models and they show no chance of even a passing storm for our area in the next 10+ days. That is the bad news. The good news is that we are finally seeing indications from multiple sources that we are in for a major change between the 12 - 17th of this month. I do not want to jump the gun here, but over the course of the next week I will start to make my case for winter finally coming to Tahoe around the middle of January. This weather has been unprecedented since weather data has been kept.

On another note; I hopped on some of the first chairs at Mt. Rose the last couple of days. Saturday was pretty good, Sunday was truly remarkable. Perfect corduroy on all runs. Remember these conditions are being made with snow supplied by man and not God! Again truly remarkable. If you have not been …