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Showing posts from February, 2014

Are Weather Patterns for our Area Really Changing?

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I will address what appears to be a long term and possibly violent change in our weather pattern. First here is a storm update.

The first wave has pushed through and brought with it some cold air. The most snow fell in the Central Sierra where Mammoth picked up nearly 2 feet. 6-12 inches fell on Rose.

The next wave is coming in tomorrow around 4:00pm. It will again have a bigger impact south of here, especially Southern California. Here is a look at 4:00 tomorrow:

We are going to get a decent amount of snowfall up here, but much of the moisture will fall south of here, where they really need it! These two storms have been a real blessing for the state. I call it free water for all, but the miracle of desalinating the trillions of trillions of gallons of water and dumping it on California is drought stricken areas is fantastic news and supports the law of averages, they were really due.

The storm that I am keeping an eye on has Tahoe in its cross hairs for next Thursday. This is a bigg…

7-10 Days of Storms Begin Thursday

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Our pattern has completely changed because of a number of factors. Storms are now moving across the Pacific, raining on Hawaii and coming our way. The Westerlies have finally returned. What does that mean? Rain for all of California. Potentially lots of it!

Mammoth Mountain is in for a very stormy 10 day period starting Thursday. So is Tahoe. In fact, when all is said and done, Tahoe looks to be back in the bulls eye. Although some very beneficial precip should fall on all of California.

Starting very early on Thursday, the first wave moves in:


Then Friday evening the next wave moves in, notice the storm just off the coast:


Another wave should affect Northern California, including Tahoe next Monday as the stormy pattern continue until late next week.

Finally, as we expected the total liquid precip numbers have gone up for the event:


The western crest around Tahoe is looking at 7-8 inches of liquid precip. A big part of California is in the 4-5 inch range. The Carson range is looking a…

March Coming in Like a Lion

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We will have a general warming trend through about the middle of next week. Look for dry weather with highs around 60.

Then things change.

We have been talking about the possibility of a pattern change coming at the end of February for the last week now. As we approach that date, the models are in surprising agreement that we could be in for a major and very beneficial pattern change.

We also talked about our friends in the Central and Southern Sierra joining in on the fun. It has been dry down there for over a year. Well it looks like our wish may come true. There are a series of storms making a beeline right for Central California, right in the heart of farm country, where they need it most.

Remember, this is still a week out, but when the models are seeing this and a number of other factors are suggesting (Late Phase strengthening MJO) this, my confidence is reasonably high.

Here is a look at the first wave, set for the February 27th:


Heavy moisture this time with the Central Sierr…

Storm For Wednesday Fizzles Out, High Pressure Take Control for Next Week

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The storm I was trying to will into our area appears to have fizzled out and will not make it down with any favorable precipitation. That is unfortunate, as the high pressure ridge to our west will move north for at least a week and block anything from coming into our area. It will get windy on Tuesday and a cold front will pass through the area. However, that will only drop temperatures to average for this time of year. However, those temps will quickly move to above average and stay that way for the next 7-10 days.

In my last post I hinted that more significant change may be coming for March. It is very difficult to forecast weather more than a few days out. However, checking a number of weather models, a chance exists for a significant change to our current weather pattern. Right now, that change looks to be starting in about 10 days. The EC model, which is the most reliable, has a significant storm affecting the entire state of California. Hopefully this holds true, as the central…

Two Storms, Then High Pressure Takes Control

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The wind that we have experienced the last few days is a storm to the north that will eventually push some moisture down toward Tahoe. At this point it is not looking like much. We have two storms coming and both are at the very southern tip of precip. First here is a look at late Saturday night:



We are on the warm side of this storm and snow levels again will be very high. Most of the precip will be confined to west of Lake Tahoe. The Carson range may pick up a few inches (6 inches if we are lucky) and as much as a foot for the Western Crest of the Sierra.

Late on Tuesday a second storm comes in. That storm will be similar to this storm, but could provide more precip further east. With it will come a cold front that will push temps about 15-20 degrees cooler. Our 60's and 70's will be 40's and 50's after Wednesday. Here is a look at late at Tuesday night:


These storms are pretty disappointing. I was hoping to build on the momentum of last weekends super storm. I am af…

Storm Continues to Slam Tahoe - Avalanche Warning, Extreme Back Country Conditions

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First the important stuff; BEFORE YOU GO OUT IN THE BACK COUNTRY, CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK AND EDUCATE YOURSELF, STAY ALIVE:

Extreme Avalanche Warning

Lake Tahoe is right in the bulls eye of one of the biggest storms we have seen in years. As sub tropical moisture is pulled from the southwest moisture plume and our low pressure system has stalled (actually moved west), copious amounts of rain and snow have fallen around the entire Tahoe area. Some of the snow totals are staggering! Squaw Valley has picked up over 5 feet, while Mt. Rose is closing in on 3 feet. There is still another 18 hours (at least) to go on this storm which could bring some of the heaviest precip we have seen.

Here is a look at the current conditions, you can see our Pineapple Express is still very much intact and feeding our low pressure system:


By the time this is over, many west Tahoe ski areas, like Sugar Bowl and Squaw Valley, could be in the 7 foot range of total snowfall. Mt. Rose will probably go over 48 in…

Pineapple Express

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Here is a beautiful shot from space of the anomaly we affectionately call the Pineapple Express. Remember you can click on the picture to enlarge:


Checking this morning's run of the weather models, I see no change to my forecast and timing from yesterday. The difficult to predict variable for this giant storm and the subsequent waves of moisture it will send our way is snow levels. The NWS is saying they believe snow levels will NOT rise above 8,000 feet and should stay around 7,000 feet for most of the weekend. I believe they will be higher. Those guys do this for a living, I do not. So hopefully they are right.

See yesterday's post for a complete storm synopsis.

Next Weekend
The next chance for a significant storm comes in next weekend, probably Sunday. Hopefully this holds together like this weekend's storm. Here is the EC look for President's day weekend:


Our ridge of high pressure is starting to get moved around. Ironically, the real pro's basically wrote off t…

66 Hours of Precip Coming to Tahoe Sierra

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I just checked the latest model run and here is what I am seeing:

Tahoe is in the bulls eye of a very large storm that will tap into a moisture plume known as the Pineapple Express.Starting at 4:00pm tomorrow (Friday) it will start snowing in the Sierra west of Lake Tahoe. Snow levels will start at about 5,000 feet. That moisture will spill over to the Carson range around 8:00pm.Precipitation will continue as snow levels rise. This is going to be a rapid rise. By Saturday around noon, snow levels will be between 7,000 and 8,000 feet. Those levels could reach 10,000 feet as warm moist air is sucked out of the Pacific moisture plume stretching from Hawaii to Northern California.At about 4:00pm on Saturday, a deep rich wave of moisture will enter the Sierra and Carson Range. This is where snow levels could reach as high as 10,000 feet and this storm could bring heavy rain to both the Sierra and Carson Range.Heavy moisture will continue until about 4:00am Monday morning for the Sierra and …

Storms Poised to hit Tahoe Hard

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Two storms are coming our way. In the next week (and maybe longer) Tahoe will see some very welcome precipitation.

Storm 1
This storm is coming in tonight and tomorrow. It is the smaller of the storms and the cooler of the storms. Here is a look at the forecast for midday tomorrow:



You can see we are right on the edge of the cool/warm air. What develops out of this storm is a giant moisture plume that will stretch from Tahoe to Hawaii. Some refer to this as the Pineapple express. Elevations could start as low as the valley floor but will rise through the entire event. We are looking at around 1-2 feet for the snow prone areas west of Lake Tahoe and about half that for the Carson Range. This should be all snow.

Storm 2
As our next storm and much more powerful, wet storm approaches, we are looking at what I will call a major weather event for all of Tahoe. We seem to be right in the bulls eye. As this storm taps into a giant moisture plume, it will stall ... and dump. However, snow levels…

Dry Cool Weather Until Next Weekend, Then Good Chance for Winter Storm

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The cold front is firmly in place and we are going to get a few reinforcing shots of more cold air on Sunday and then again next Friday. We will get some light snow showers Sunday and Monday, however at this time it looks like accumulations will be minimal.

Next Thursday is our next chance for some measurable snow in the Sierra as a shortwave will drop down out of the Pacific Northwest. Models in good agreement that will bring us some precip around Thursday with a cold front behind.

Then as the PNA goes negative again, a stronger system will drop out of the Gulf of Alaska and should make it in to Tahoe with plenty of moisture. Of course we are still pretty far out, but models are in surprisingly good agreement and it appears that a number of factors will fall into place.

This is the forecast for total precipitation next weekend:


The possibility exists for some areas to pickup as much as 4 inches of liquid. With the colder air in place, snow levels for this system will be much lower an…