Showing posts from 2015

One More Storm, Then Cold, Dry Period

We have one more storm on tap. That storm will usher in very cold air and move quickly through the area. Unfortunately, this storm is moisture starved. Here is a look at the forecast for about noon on Christmas Eve:

This storm will quickly exit our area and leave behind very cold air and very deep valley inversions, especially this coming weekend. Winds will not be nearly as strong and there is a good chance that the lifts keep spinning on Christmas Eve day, during the storm. With the heavy snow we received over the last several days, Christmas day could bring a champagne powder day. For all things powder, be sure to visit the best Mt. Rose site: Unofficial Mt. Rose, they will let you know if the lifts are spinning and the kind of conditions that can be expected. I am expeciting 6-12 inches of very light powder for the Carson Range starting around 8:00am on Christmas eve and ending that evening.

I see a lot of cold and no major storms perhaps through the end of the year. However, that…

Warm, Wet Pattern Starts Tomorrow

A series of weaker, warmer storms are headed our way that will bring snow to most of the Sierra and rain to the valleys. The big question is how much snow? My answer is: A lot. First allow me my disclaimer, the models are all over the place, there is serious moisture available for any storms headed our way and there are several storms poised to hit.

The first of these systems comes in late Friday or very early Saturday. That system will weaken and clip Tahoe. Most of the precip will stay west of the lake but I do expect some accumulating snow for the Carson range. Here is a look at the forecast for midnight on Friday:

This will stick with us for some time as the pattern is very wet. Look for snow or snow showers all the way up to the 24th. At that time a larger storm comes in and has great potential for really hitting Tahoe on Christmas Eve or thereabouts.

Here is a look at the forecast for the morning of the 24th. This storm will move into Tahoe on the 23rd, pick up moisture and stre…

Storm Update and Future Forecast

A very cold storm is knocking on the door. It will bring high winds to the party as well. In fact when you wake up tomorrow morning, there is a very good chance the lifts at Mt. Rose will be closed as slide mountain could be seeing Category 4 Hurricane winds (130 mph).

Right now, it looks like the snowfall will be intense but short lived. Here is a look at the forecast for tomorrow starting at around noon and lasting into the evening. There will be some shadowing effect, which will slightly limit the amount of snow in the Carson Range:

This system has a very adequate moisture tap, however there are no inland systems to act as a blocking force so it will quickly move through our area. By around 6:00 in the evening here is what it should look like:

Finally, here is what the EC model see's in the way of total precip for this storm:

Snow levels will start at around 6,000 feet. This will be all snow for all of Tahoe. The western shore ski areas will get the most snow out of this system…

Storms Update

The winter storm that is knocking on our door right now is on track to produce heavy snow for the Lake Tahoe area. For most of Tahoe its arrival will be early tomorrow morning. Amazingly the EC model nutted this thing over a week ago and the timing is nearly perfect. Here is a look at the forecast for early tomorrow morning:

This is a strong storm that is tapping into a subtropical moisture plume. In fact take a look at the satellite right now:

You can see our next storm located off the Oregon and Washington coast. This is a bigger storm and will bring even more snow to Tahoe.

For the Carson Range, this will be all snow above 7000 feet. Snow levels will start there or slightly higher and quickly fall. In addition, the shadowing effect, which has been prevalent for our last few storms, will not be so strong. So I look for heavy snow in the Carson range through next Tuesday. There will be a slight break, but the 2nd storm will arrive Sunday in the early afternoon. Here is a look at that…

Stormy Week Ahead

As the models converge on a very stormy week, we are starting to see indications that the rains from the western Pacific are starting to make it here with a little bit more strength. First lets look at the upcoming week. There are a series of waves headed our way:

Sunday Dec 6, 12:00pm

This storm will be much better for the west shore of the lake but I still expect 2-4 inches for the Carson Range, 12-18 for the Western Crest of the Sierra.
There will be a series of these small shortwaves that will be cast our way. We should pick up another few inches ahead of a much bigger storm that we have been talking about for a few days now.
Thursday Dec 10, 12:00pm

This is the best chance we have of a major storm. This will pick up moisture steaming across the Pacific and should deposit it all over Tahoe, including the Carson Range and Mt. Rose. I am looking for 10-20 inches out of this (Carson Range) and if things align perfectly, we could be talking more.
Sunday Dec 13, 2:00pm

This storm has some…

Fast Moving Storm Will Bring Wind, Cold and Snow

This storm that is knocking on the door will be here and gone before you know it. However, there is some moisture associated with this storm that could see snowfall rates around 2 inches per hour for several hours, especially north and west of Lake Tahoe near the Sierra Crest. Shadowing is strong, so precip amounts will be much less for the Carson Range. We could be talking 2 feet for the western crest and about 6-8 inches for the Northern Carson Range.

The good news on several model runs today is it appears next week could bring us a series of shortwave events ending with a warm, wet storm around the 10th of the month. This is a much better solution that what we have been looking at for the last week, and perhaps the long range will pick up on a very fluid weather pattern. One thing is for sure, the Pacific Northwest is going to be exceptionally wet and rainy. Some models are showing 2 feet of liquid precipitation for Washington State over the next 10 days. We are hoping that the pat…

One Storm For Thursday; Then More Cool Dry Weather

I have searched long and hard to find a reason for optimism as we go into our stormiest part of the year, but I am not seeing anything in the long range weather models that suggest we are in for a big storm until at least Christmas. Of course the disclaimer must be that conditions are very fluid this year and 3-4 week predictions should hold little, if any merit. But here is the 30 day. Remember I published this last year and it was right on, so pardon me for being a little paranoid here:

The EC weather model has the Carson Range forecast for 1 inch of liquid precip between now and Christmas. That includes the storm coming in on Thursday which is supposed to deliver between .5 and 1 inch of precip. That storm has greatly weakened over the last several days. The storm track is heading north of us as our persistent ridge of high pressure is going to park right off the coast and is forecast to stay there for some time.

Here is a look at the EC model for the Pacific starting late next wee…

Cold Storm for Tuesday Afternoon

At around noon Tuesday a cold storm will drop out of the north and begin to have an effect on our weather. By 4:00 the storm will be raging with strong winds, much colder temps and even valley snowfall. This is a fast moving storm that does not have much in the way of a moisture tap and therefore, do not expect much snow. Here is the forecast for 4:00pm on Tuesday:

This storm has a very poor trajectory, unless its cold air you are interested in. It will drop more out of the north than the west, which will limit moisture.
I look for 5-10 inches by Thanksgiving for the Carson range. This is a very cold storm and snow to water ratios could be as high as 20 to 1. There is another shortwave that should follow the main storm on Wednesday, so that will add some minor, additional accumulation.
This is a fairly typical storm for this time of year, however if we look west across the Pacific, there is a lot going on. Super Typhoon Koppu is causing havoc. I will be interested to see what happens …

Quick Storm Update, High Pressure Moving In

Looking at the latest run of the ECMWF weather model the news is not good. The front is moving in and will pass through very quickly. The bulk of the moisture will stay on the western Sierra. I am looking at about .25 - .5 total liquid for the Carson Range. That will equate 3-6 inches of snow max. This front is coming in with some very cool air as well, temperatures will plummet. Any precip in the leeward valleys will be mostly snow. However, I do not see any accumulation.

The bulk of the moisture will come through about 3:00 today and be done by 7:00 tonight. Here is a look at the forecast for around 4:00 today:

Also, our persistent high pressure ridge will move back into place and begin blocking storms as they attempt to move into our area. I am not seeing any significant storms for at least the next 10 days. The problems is our ridge of high pressure coupled with no blocking in the upper plains to Hudson bay. This is allowing storms to move inland and continue tracking due east.


When Will El Nino Begin to Effect Our Weather?

Contrary to popular belief, El Nino has had only a minor role in our most recent storms. These have been relatively small storms that found a moisture tap to the west and south. However, that is not what defines an El Nino influenced event. El Nino will take hold when the southern jet starts to influence our weather. That has yet to happen, so these storms are a real blessing.

I receive a lot of very astute observations from some very smart people. One of the more interesting observations that I have seen came from BigSurHuntington. After looking at the last few strong El Nino years, he believes a pattern emerges. That pattern shows a break in the storm cycle while the southern "El Nino" jet stream moves up to influence our weather. After this break is when the heavy rains start. Because this jet is traditionally much further south, as it moves up, it brings copious amounts of moisture to the entire state of California. We are nowhere near there ... yet.

To show you the patt…

Storm Update

This storm has increased in strength and has tapped into a bit more moisture than I originally expected. It will come in 2 waves, one of which has already made it's appearance. The next wave starts this afternoon and will last into tomorrow. This has a little more potential to push into the Carson Range as well. We could be looking at around a foot of snow for Mt. Rose by storm's end. Here is the latest liquid precip forecast:

This next wave will also usher in some very cold air, which will bring the snow ratio to about 15 to 1, thus we could receive about a foot of snow with 3/4 inch of liquid precip.

This very cold storm is not unusual in El Nino years. I will explain why in my next post that will talk about when El Nino will begin to have a greater influence on our weather.

Stay Tuned ...

Next Storm Will Be Here in 84 Hours, Weak for the Carson Range

That headline says it all. The next storm is due to show up in Tahoe in about 84 hours or 3.5 days. Around Sunday at 4, the storm should arrive. Here is a look at the EC weather forecast for Sunday at 4:00pst:

The models are in nearly complete agreement about this storm. Unfortunately for us on the Carson side of the Sierra, the bulk of this storm will not make it to us, so this will be a fairly minor event. I am thinking at most 6-12 inches for the Carson Range, probably though in the 3-5 inch range. The western crest, north of the Lake Tahoe could be looking at as much as 2 feet. Here is the precip total forecast:

This storm does not have near the moisture plume to work with as the last storm. However, that should keep the snow levels much lower. The last storm stayed at 10,000 feet for the first half of the event or we would have seen much more snow, especially in the Carson range.

Looking a bit further down the line, this is the only event forecast for at least the next 10 days. T…

Storm Update

I think this satellite picture says it all. Our storm has tapped into a moisture plume that stretches nearly to Hawaii (mini-pineapple expresss).

Expect the storm to continue today. Snow levels will drop to the valley floor with little or no accumulation. However, I still expect the Mt. Rose ski area to pick up around 18 inches of base making, Sierra Cement.

Temperatures will rapidly drop throughout today, A cold slider will come in late tomorrow/Wednesday that could produce additional snow for the Carson Range. The long range is forecasting this pattern to continue.

Add El Nino influence starting mid-December and we could be looking at quite a winter in Tahoe. Many of the forecasters continue to warn of dire consequences when the storm machine really gets cranking. Remember, El Nino is warm and if you get a large snow pack to rapidly melt, that water goes down to the population areas. Be prepared.

Stay Tuned ...

As Weather Pattern Changes, a Series of Storms are coming Our Way

I apologize for lateness of this post, however I have been out of town and only returned yesterday. Looking at the latest model runs, I am most pleased by the amount of moisture the current storm appears to be tapping into, especially when it gets here.

Here is a look a the latest run of the EC, for tomorrow:

As this storm approaches, it will pick up moisture from the south. The model runs appear to be leaning toward the possibility of even a larger precipitation event. Also, this storm has plenty of spillover which bodes well for both the Carson Range and the leeward valleys from Reno through Carson.

Here is a look at the current precip forecast, remember the models have been increasing moisture with each run, so our confidence is pretty high with this one:

Not the most impressive storm ever, but certainly much better than what was being forecast 10 days ago.

As far as snow levels, get used to this; this is a warm storm pulling moisture from the south. Snow levels will start around 9…

Will Mt. Rose Open Next Week?

First, let me apologize to my loyal readers. Generally when  you see that I posted that means a storm in on the horizon ... good times. Well, I keep hearing that a storm is coming next week and I want to set the record straight. From here on in, when you see the Tahoe Weather Blog posted in your inbox, you will know that I am seeing something.

The question of the day, will Mt. Rose Open next week? In two words, probably not. Despite the first storm of the year coming in from the west, it is doubtful that this event will produce snow, let alone significant snow.

The models are surprisingly consistent on this one. First a small system will approach from the west and track north. This system will not bring any precip to the Tahoe area.

The next system should arrive next Wednesday. This is a larger system, but will break up and then head north. We will see cloudiness, but at this time, very little if any chance for measurable precip, especially on this side of the lake. Just because I lik…

El Nino Strengthens; Forecast to last through Winter of 2016

Just a quick update. I want to expand upon what I was saying last post. El Nino is the real deal this year and should have a major impact on precipitation for most of California this winter. After a slight decline, another Kelvin Wave pushed El Nino into nearly uncharted waters. If you look at last post, only two years have compared with this El Nino. This El Nino could be stronger. The one variable that was not in play during 82/83 & 97/98 were the extremely warm California coastal waters. Most experts believe this will add to the extreme weather effects that have been associated with El Nino's similar to this one.
Here is what impresses me; The forecast peak of this El Nino will come right in the heart of our rainy season. Take a look at the latest chart from NOAA below. If we hit some of those upper outliers, we are talking about an event previously unseen.

Stay Tuned ...

Will Averages Begin to Catch Up for California? Are We Experiencing Man-Made Global Warming?

After four years of drought, most of California is under a water emergency. However, we are seeing indications that at least some relief is in sight for the short run and the long run.

First, let's get some facts straight; California is mostly a desert. The drought stricken areas along the southern coast are deserts that have been radically over populated by man. We have decimated the geography by covering it in concrete and planting thousands of different varieties of non-indigenous plants. We have polluted the air and ground. In short, man has not been good to this area and there is no argument for that. The weather in this area is so nice in both the winter and summer that it is a very highly desirable place to live.

Extended dry periods in deserts are not that uncommon. However, when you have over 30 million people living there they tend to be catastrophic. The San Francisco Bay area is not much different. It gets more annual rainfall (on average) than Southern California, but…

Sometimes Mother Nature Ignores our Schedules

We are in a very strange weather pattern indeed! It has been raining for a couple of weeks in the desert, snowing in the higher elevations. Ironically, this pattern is from a series of low pressure systems that occupy the entire west right now. The real culprit is a strong storm centered near the four corners region. This storm is pulling moist air up from the south and wrapping that moisture around, right into the state of Nevada and much of the west.

This storm is near stationary, so expect this pattern to continue through at least tomorrow. Unfortunately, California is being left out of this current event for the most part.

When will it end? First, there is a warming trend coming as the Jet dives south and this storm begins to move north and east. However, from what I can see it is in no hurry. So I expect warmer temps (still below average) to move in, but the chance of rain will continue through next Friday, albeit nothing like what we have seen this week. After that, the storms a…

Change to Cooler, Stormy Weather Still On

In our last post we talked about a potential spring storm for Tahoe. Considering, that storms do not have the power this time of year that they posses in December and January, we have a moderate size storm knocking on the door. Not much has changed since my last post as the models have held true for some decent precip coming to the Sierra and Carson range starting tomorrow and then picking up steam around midday on Tuesday.

Here is the latest from EC for around midday Tuesday:

I know, this looks like the same forecast I gave about a week ago, the only difference is that this is the latest model run.

There are parts of the Western Crest of the Sierra that will pick up 2-3 feet of snow from these series of storms. I believe the Carson range (Mt. Rose) could should pick up 1-2 feet of snow by Wednesday night. As a disclaimer, the NWS is calling for much less snow. However, considering the latest model runs and the cold air associated with these storms (snow levels @ 5,000 feet), I believ…

Is it too late for a change in the Weather Pattern?

Both EC and GFS weather models are suggesting a major spring storm could hit the Tahoe area in a little more than a week. Both models are suggesting that our first decent storm cycle in over a month is on the way for the last week of skiing at most of the Tahoe resorts.

This is not, by any means, unprecedented. In fact, this has been one of the worst springs in recent memory for storms. Large April storms are the rule not the exception. Most years are good for at least one and if you believe the weather models, a storm could be on the way.

Here is a look at the EC model forecast for the 7th of April:

The GFS model is showing a remarkably similar forecast. Here is a look at the precip potential for this storm:

Interestingly enough, the GFS has a series of storms coming in starting early next weekend and getting progressively stronger.

These models have been teasing us all year with storms that do not live up to their potential. Under achieving storms, so beware.

It is never too late fo…

Possible Snow For Early Monday

A weak storm will gain some strength, come down from the north and should leave the Tahoe area with some accumulating snow. However, there will be a rain shadow at the crest which will limit accumulation in the Carson range.

Here is a look at the forecast for very early Monday morning:

Here is a look at the precip forecast. Most of the precip stays west of the Sierra:

I am not seeing any weather anomalies headed our and we should move to dry pattern starting Tuesday afternoon. The Western Crest of the Sierra could pick up 6-12 inches by Tuesday afternoon while the Carson range will be limited to 1-4 inches.

Stay Tuned ...