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Friday, January 20, 2012

Storm 1 - Disappointment, Healthy Shot of Moisture Coming Tonight

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 storm. Current model predictions are talking about 4-5 inches of liquid precip. This is a very warm storm, but should be all snow above 7,500 feet for Tahoe. Here is a look at precip forecasts, remember this is liquid precip and this storm is warm, so the best guess would be 8 to 1 snow to water ratio:

Looks Like Tahoe in 4-5 Inch Mark

Sunday/Monday Outlook
The EC weather model has a couple of storms coming into our area Sunday/Monday/Tuesday that could produce another good round of precipitation. However, the conventional wisdom is that the EC is over predicting and that the ridge of high pressure to our south will move north and push that precip up into the Pacific NW. The GFS weather model supports that forecast. In any event we should have a decent snow event for Sunday later afternoon through early Monday morning, and the possibility exists for one more storm to come down our way.

Beautiful Weather Starting Late Tuesday and Lasting Through at Least Friday
Starting Tuesday we get warm. Valley's will be back to the mid to upper 50's with ample sunshine. Pretty typical of Tahoe.

Storms Start up Late Next Weekend?
Looking way ahead, the storm cycle could (I repeat could) start up again late next weekend. The EC model has the cycle beginning late on Sunday and lasting another 5 days. GFS (The Grinch model these days) has high pressure dominating through Feb 2nd.

Stay Tuned ...

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