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Showing posts from November, 2012

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…