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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Likely Precipitation Timing Over the Next 7 Days

I will try and pinpoint the major events of this major storm as they unfold over the next week. The biggest change I am seeing is a slight increase in winds. Let's talk about that:

We predict that the lifts will spin tomorrow. Tomorrow night brings in our first wave, but with any luck the winds die down for a very good day on Saturday. They will pick up in the afternoon and may cause lift closures. The heavy winds come in Saturday night but again, should die down by Sunday @ 8:30am. Monday could be the day, but winds will be strong in the morning and throughout the day. I believe they will have at least the slide lift spinning on Monday.

There is at least a chance (winds are very difficult to predict) that the lifts will not spin on either Sunday or Monday (small chance). If that is the case, Tuesday will have at least 4-6 feet of fresh POW to burn your legs out quickly. It will take them forever to get the Chutes open as it will be very dangerous in there, especially during the blizzard conditions.

Here is the storm timing:

9:00 Tonight
First wave rolls in. This is a weak event and will probably produce little if any precip for the Carson Range.



10:00pm Friday
Second wave rolls in. This will be much stronger and with it will come very strong winds. My hope is they die down by Saturday morning. Snow elevation for this will be around 8,000 feet or higher. This will usher in some cold air and the snow levels should begin to fall. If this is all snow, I like 8-16 inches for Mt. Rose. At the top, they will pick up over a foot.


Noon Saturday
The main storm is now knocking on the door. It will tap into a very rich moisture plume and create what NOAA calls an Atmospheric River. Basically that is a whole lot of moisture in the atmosphere. Things now start to get really interesting.



10:00pm Saturday
The storm is in full swing and Tahoe is right in the heart of it. We will have had near constant, heavy snow now for 24 hours. Now the snow will start falling at as much as 4 inches or more per hour in some places. Strong winds will accompany this wave. As the heavy moisture moves in, the winds will die down somewhat due to the moisture friction (moisture blocking wind). This is not a time to be traveling in the Sierra as certainly all California passes will close, Spooner and Mt. Rose will stay open, because we are Nevadans which makes us tougher.Snow levels will quickly plummet. The heavy stuff will fall for around 8 hours or so, then we will have a brief dry period.



9:00pm Sunday
Another strong wave will blast Tahoe. This event will last over 12 hours and bring very heavy snow. Levels will be 7,000 at the start and fall again as the colder air moves through.



Noon Friday March 11th
After a drying out period that will last for the most part from Tuesday until Friday, another strong moisture rich storm chooses Tahoe as its bullseye. This will be a warmer storm and we will have to watch this one closely. For those of you who have passes at Rose, you will be happy as these events are all pretty warm, which is usually the case when you have so much moisture.



By the time this is all over, the Carson Range will have picked up anywhere from 6-12 feet (possibly more depending on Temperatures and Shadowing).

Here is a total precip chart for the week. I believe the Carson range will get in the neighborhood of 8-12 inches of liquid precip, so you do the math:



The other item that is very important to note; this is a drought buster for Northern California. Some areas could get as much as 20 inches of liquid precip. California has been enlarging their reservoirs to hopefully capture more of this very beneficial water. Apparently, they have figured out that averages mean dry years and wet years and capturing the water during the wet years, gets them through the dry years.

If the timing changes, you will hear from us.

Stay Tuned ...

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