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Showing posts from 2018

One Storm then Dry Through Christmas

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We need this next storm to produce. In a year where the storms have under performed, we have what could be an okay storm that could bring a foot of snow. That storm comes in very late on Sunday and should last through early Monday morning. The GFS has this storm moving through much faster than the EC, but we are confident this one should leave behind some snow.

Here is a look at late Sunday night:


After this storm, the models are saying dry weather for at least the next week as our ridge moves back into position. There will be a few glancing blows, but overall we see no major snow events for the Sierra.

That is the bad news, the good news is, the ridge should break down shortly after Christmas which will give us a chance for additional storms to move through the area.

Conditions have just not been favorable for a major snow event, unfortunately. We will keep an eye way out and report accordingly.

Stay Tuned ...


Two Storms Headed Our Way

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The weather pattern remains active, despite the very disappointing performance of this last storm. We are tracking two storms; one for late Friday and another for late Sunday.

Here is the forecast for the Friday storm, the weaker of the two:


Here is the forecast for the Sunday night storm:


Both of these system are fast moving so we will not see any epic dumps out of this. However, in a best case scenario Mt. Rose could pick up a couple of feet by this time next week with the bulk of the snow coming late next weekend.

Valley Inversions
The leeward valley's will continue this awful inversion which is trapping the fog and moisture until about Wednesday. A very weak and dry system should cause significant mixing and kick that crap out of here which should allow the sun to finally shine through and warm us into the upper 40's or low 50's, especially Friday and over the weekend as these storms approach. The next two systems will remove any remnants of the fog and hopefully we wil…

A Couple of Near Misses, Then a Chance For Something Better

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The weather pattern remains active with several storms coming at us from the west. Currently, the models have these storms with just a glancing blow on Wednesday (12/5) and Saturday (12/8). However, both the GFS and EC models are showing the possibility of a moderate storm coming into the Tahoe area around the 9th  of December. We talked about this in our last post.

First here is the ECWMF forecast for early on the 10th of December:


Here is the GFS forecast for just about the same time:


We don't see this as a very strong storm, but a lot can change between now and then.

There is the possibility of another storm around the 15th of December, then we may be looking at our ridge moving back off the coast for a week or so.

As of now we are looking at a dry period between the 15th of December and the 23rd. The storms return around Christmas and should be much stronger.

Stay Tuned ...

Storms Update; Epic December in Store?

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After a very disappointing performance by the snow gods last week, we are on the eve of several storms for this week.

The first of those storms arrives tomorrow (11/27) late afternoon:


Although the models have this storm weakening as it makes land, it does pick up some sub-tropical moisture, which is revealing for the next storm. This first storm will hit in several waves, with snow levels starting around 7,500-8,000 feet and falling to around 6,000 feet as the storm passes through.

The second storm has the most potential and the NWS is calling for a major snow event above 7,000 feet. Generally when they do this, it happens, they are the experts after all.

The 2nd, in our series of storms, arrives late Wednesday night from the Southwest. This storm will bring down some cooler air and I am confident this one will be all snow for Mt. Rose. The other ski areas may start with rain at their lowest elevations, but this storm will fall well below lake level and should be very beneficial for …

Storm Door to Remain Wide Open

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Another storm is poised to hit the Tahoe Area today and should get cranking this afternoon. This storm will pull sub-tropical moisture from the south, which will raise snow levels to 8,000 feet or higher.



After a short break, the storms return on Tuesday and should last through Thursday and even into Friday. Here is a look at the peak of next week's storms late Wednesday night (11/28):


Snow levels next week will probably be 7,000 feet or lower, but we will get a better indication in a few days.

After another short break, a large storm moves into the Pacific NW and will potentially bring a major weather event to Tahoe. Right now the models have the bulk of the energy staying north, but if that storm shifts just a bit south, we could be talking about a real Sierra Blizzard event. Here is what things may look like Saturday December 1st. Regardless, this storm will bring additional heavy snow to the region:


So the total precip outlook for the next week or so looks like this:


The preci…

Two Storms Will Bring Moderate Snow to Sierra and Carson Range

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Two well advertised storms (we started talking about these nearly 4 weeks ago) are poised to hit the Sierra and Carson Range. A large storm, that we talked about 2 weeks ago, could be on tap for a week from Thanksgiving.

Here are the details:

Tomorrow 4:00 pm




Friday 4:00 am



This should be all snow for Mt. Rose at 8,200. The bulk of the precip will see a snow level from 7,000 to 7,500. As the cold fronts move through those levels will drop to around 6,000 feet. The professionals over at the NWS believe the storm on tap for tomorrow will be the bigger producer. I think the storm for Friday could match tomorrow's or even exceed it. I was concerned about trajectory and a shadow effect. But right now things look good for the Carson range to pick up 18-36 inches by Sunday morning.

This pattern is showing no signs of stopping. Next week I will talk about the ridge getting thrown around, but for now  that storm we talked about a couple of posts ago looks good for the 29th:


Add up the 3 stor…

As Ridge Moves West, Storm Door Opens. Winter Starts Next Week.

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If you have read any of our recent posts, you know that we are forecasting our persistent ridge in the Jet to move west and get out of the way of a series of storms. We have been guessing the timing anywhere from the 18th to the 29th. Well it looks like on the 21st, our first storm will drop down from the north, pick up ample moisture from the south and kickoff winter, perhaps just in time for Thanksgiving weekend skiing! This will be the first in a series of storms that should stick around for a while. We are confidently counting three storms and are not looking out past that third storm.

Here is the timing as of now, of course subject to minor changes:

Wednesday November 21st at 10:00pm

Friday November 23rd at 4:00am


Saturday November 24th 4:00pm

Obviously, we are still a ways out so the timing is subject to change. But barring any unforeseen event, we should be looking at a very snowy Thanksgiving holiday.
With any luck, these storms will put out the fires that have been burning in Ca…

When Will it Snow?

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High Pressure is dominating our weather. The ridge of high pressure to our west has done some dancing, but for the most part is blocking any moisture from getting into our area. In our last post we forecast that will change around the 18th - 20th. It does look like our ridge will begin to see some movement and a storm will probably just graze our area. However, toward the end of the month we are seeing major movement of the ridge and possibly a large storm could be headed our way. About Time!

First here is a look at where we are today:


Notice as our ridge moves north, our weather warms. Expect warmer conditions over the course of the next week or so. This ridge is literally blocking 90% of the North American coast.

We are seeing on several different models a break down of the ridge as it moves out to sea and allows storms to move in. Here is a forecast for the 18th:


As the ridge moves out to sea, the storm door will open for our area. The first in a what should be a series of storms w…

Winter Outlook: Warm Fall Could Give Way to Above Average Winter

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A blocking ridge of high pressure is firmly entrenched off the west coast and is not going anywhere for at least a few weeks. This will continue to bring very mild temperatures and no precipitation. We probably will not see a change in this pattern for around 3 weeks.


We still believe, however, that we should be in for an average to slightly above average precipitation total for the winter. We believe that by late December through the spring we are looking at El Nino conditions, albeit a weak to moderate El Nino.

We also believe that when the pattern changes, it could be significant.

First let's look into why we believe that despite the slow start to winter, we should recover with average to above average precipitation.

First of all there is El Nino, here is what we are seeing for the coming months:


Although, this is not a strong El Nino, it is still El Nino. Last year we were in a weak La Nina. When the equatorial  Pacific waters started warming we fell into a near neutral ENSO, …

Smoke Relief in Site

As the fires continue to rage across all of California, our winds will shift from the east / southeast and that should provide a couple of days of summer for the leeward valleys of Nevada. We were hoping this materialized and it did.

Unfortunately, our prevailing winds come from the west and we will be back in the smoke by late in the week, so enjoy this very short reprieve. It could be the last one for a while.

Coming Up: El Nino is headed our way along with diminished sun spot activity. What does it all mean for the upcoming ski season?

Stay Tuned ...

The California Idiocy Dilemma

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It used to be that if California wanted to ruin itself, it's resources, it's people and it's land, then let them. For many decades we have watched Californians do wrong. Hey, that's their business. Since the left has taken over California, we have watched nearly every decision made, be made based on politics and not on what is right or wrong. The end result is that California is the laughing stock of the world and an example of human idiocy that has not been seen before. Californians are migrating east at an alarming rate, changing the politics of states like Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Bolstering big government because the government is our only hope to save us from human indecency. Can we classify a new disease; Californiaitis?

Oops, sorry for the delay in writing this. You see my office is powered by a mobile solar station that I built a few years ago. But that just died and I lost power. So I had to plug everything back into the grid. You see,…

California is Burning; No end in sight for Smoke.

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California is burning. Regardless of which way the wind changes, our area will continue to be pumped with smoke. This is partially due to a very wet spring, which means lots of tinder by the time the dry season kicks into full gear and decades of forest mismanagement, caving to environmental groups that insist on no logging, but put out all the fires. Eventually, they cannot be put out until they burn themselves out.
Here is a look at what is happening right now:


Another look from the satellite:


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I just ran the latest ECWMF, and things are not going to change for at least the next 7-10 days and probably more. There is some indication that possibly a shift to winds coming from the south and east in about 9 days. Mother nature will not be helping, as this is the peak of the dry season with little or no chance for precipitation.
Stay Tuned ...

Final Two Storms, Then High Pressure and Warm Weather

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We have two fairly weak systems coming in. If you read our last post, nothing has changed. The timing is still right on as one system comes in this afternoon through Monday and a much weaker system will bring in more cold air late Wednesday.

After that last system, high pressure moves in off the coast, which will bring much drier and warmer conditions to the area. So if you are impatiently waiting for a little warmth, that will begin next Friday. Between now and then, expect unsettled conditions with below average temperatures.

Once the ridge of high pressure moves in, we see an extended dry and warm period for the entire Tahoe region.

High Pressure Sets up for Next Weekend


When will the storm machine get cranking again? Well, we are pretty late in the year, but we know that winter is usually not over until the middle of June, despite pockets of summer being sprinkled in.

Stay Tuned ...

4 Small to Moderate Storms Over the Next 10 Days

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We are tracking four storms over the next 10 days. Here is what we are seeing:

Tuesday Afternoon 4/10 - This is the smallest of the storms and barely qualifies. However it will give our persistent ridge a swift kick in the you know what. Any precip that does fall below 8,000 feet, will be rain.



Late Wednesday 4/11 - Larger storm that will have some valley spill over effect. Snow levels will start at around 7,500 feet and rapidly fall all the way to the valley floor. It will feel like winter around here come Thursday.



Sunday Afternoon 4/15 - Temperatures begin to recover Friday and Saturday, then another storm comes down from the north. As the cold front pushes through, Monday and Tuesday will again feel like winter.


Wednesday Evening April 18th - Another cold storm from the north. This will push through and temps will plummet again. This should have some valley spill over as well. As cold front comes through, snow levels will drop to about 6,000 feet or possibly even lower.

Here is wh…

What a Mess! 11,000 Foot Snow Levels + Heavy Precip = Major Flood Risk

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We have an excellent snow pack in the Sierra. Ideally, we would like that to slowly melt away. However, we have a major storm coming in, bringing with it tropical rains that will push snow levels over 10,000 feet for most of the event.

If you are one of those people that are scared to death of drought, then you will love this:



When we reach April, the rainy season is mostly behind us. Yes, in the past we have seen storms in April, but not like this, not that I can remember. We are talking about 10+ inches of rain for parts of Northern California, 4-6 inches for the Carson Range, 2 inches for the leeward foothills and perhaps an inch in the valley. Snow levels for most of this event will stay above 10,000 feet. Not until the very end will some colder air get forced in and bring snow levels down, but by then most of the rain will have fallen.

With all that moisture falling in the mountains melting tons of snow it only has one place to go; DOWN.

If you live in a flood prone area, seek th…

Strong, Warm Spring Storm on tap for Friday, Saturday

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A strong storm is headed our way. This storm does appear to be the first and strongest in a series of storms that will change the pattern back to a wet, windy and eventually chilly trend.

At it's peak, which will be around Saturday @ noon the storm looks like this:


We will start to see a change on late Thursday and then a few waves of moisture come in finally followed by the main brunt of the storm.

Snow levels for this event will be very high. I am guessing most Tahoe resorts will see all rain as the snow levels come in above 10,000 feet and remain there for most of the event. When the cold air finally makes its way down, the moisture will have mostly exited the area.

This will definitely bring flood risk to our area and some rain, as much as 1/2 inch is coming to the leeward valleys. Check with the NWS if you live in flood prone areas.

Temperatures will recover quickly on Sunday and Monday ahead of the next storm.

The next storm shows up on Tuesday and will be much colder with s…

As High Pressure Settles In, Expect an Extended Dry Period

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As the last remnants of this major storm wrap around our area and bring in very cold air, especially for this time of year, a major change is on the horizon.

We talked about this in our last two posts. Here is the change:


As air rotates clockwise around the ridge of high pressure and that ridge of high pressure moves closer to the coast, we can expect a gradual warming and the possibility of mid-70's by late next week in the leeward valleys of the Sierra.

We are quickly approaching average snowfall for the Carson Range and Sierra, which is a little deceiving because we had nearly a foot of rain in several very warm storms earlier in the season. That makes the last 3 years of average or above average precip for our region. That was preceded by 4 years of below average precip. Folks, that is how it works. Ma Nature is not on a schedule. This machine that we call our climate is full of peaks and valleys. That is why we always say "average" and not "normal". Our cl…

The Last Storm in the Current Cycle is Knocking at the Door

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The current storm cycle has lasted nearly a month with several strong storms dumping lots of snow throughout the Sierra and Carson Range. That cycle is coming to an end, but not until we get pounded by one more large storm.

We have been talking about this storm for about 10 days now and it is not going to disappoint. There will be some shadowing for the Carson Range but we still expect snow measured in feet starting tomorrow and ending early Friday with a 2nd wave on tap for Saturday.

Snow levels could approach 8,000 feet when this thing really gets going. Initially however, we are looking at 7,000-7,500 feet. When the heavy moisture comes in the snow levels will rise. How high? Our best guess is above 8,000 feet for a short period of time until a cold front comes in and drops snow levels all the way down to 5,000 feet. For the most part, this will be all snow for Mt. Rose. There is a better than 50/50 chance that snow levels never make it to 8,000 feet.

Approaching Storm (Tomorrow af…

Act II: Knocking on the Door; El Nino for 2018/2019?

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Act II of our winter storm is knocking on the door and should be affecting most of the Tahoe area by late this afternoon. This storm is coming from the north and is colder than Act I. Where Act I weakened, Act II has strengthened and slowed down.

The Carson Range should pick up 2-4 feet of snow tonight and tomorrow above 8,000 feet. This storm is much colder and will be all snow for all areas. Some ares of the western crest of the Sierra will pick up as much as 5 feet of snow. There is a shadow effect to this storm, but we still like our chances of getting a major dump.

Expect moderate to heavy snow for the Tahoe area for about 24-30 hours and then some wrap around moisture as the storm moves south and east. The storm should be peaking around 2:00am tomorrow. Here is a look at the forecast for 2:00am tomorrow:


OK, back to what we do, which is longer range forecasting. Next week looks good for another large spring storm. That storm is going to come in warm, however. Here is what we are…