Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Final Two Storms, Then High Pressure and Warm Weather

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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

Image
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?

Image
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…

Storm Update

Image
The winter storm that we have been talking about for the last two weeks is now upon us. This is an update on the timing of the storm:

The storm will come in essentially two waves. The first wave is just now starting up. It will come in warm with the counter clockwise rotation pulling up moisture from the sub-tropics. This is the bigger of the two waves and will last until late tomorrow night with near constant, heavy snow. The elevation will be high to start, but should quickly drop. I believe Mt. Rose will get all snow, but would not be surprised to see snow elevations at the 8,000 foot level or even a little higher to begin with. The heaviest precip will be from 4:00 this afternoon until late morning tomorrow. Here is a look at the peak of the storm which should be around midnight tonight:


There will be a break in the snow that should start very late tomorrow night and last through most of the day on Thursday before the next wave comes in.

The 2nd and final wave comes in late Thursd…

Soaking Rains for California, Heavy Mountain Snow for the Sierra, Starts Tuesday

Image
A rather large and extremely beneficial storm is expected to come in on Tuesday and stick around for 4-5 days bringing wave after wave of moisture to almost the entire state of California and heavy mountain snow to the Sierra.

Our current system is trying hard to produce. The first wave went by us to the west and north and the second wave is missing us to the south. However, I think the Carson Range could pick up around 3-6 (at most) inches of snow tonight and early tomorrow morning.

Before we get into the forecast, if you did not see this earlier, we were sent a video of Ski Patrol doing avalanche control in the Chutes of Mt. Rose last week. I have been asked to post it again, it is pretty amazing.

Mt. Rose Chutes Avalanche Control

We have a giant trough of Low Pressure headed our way. Although the models are not in total agreement, we believe here at TWB that this will be a major winter storm for the Sierra and Carson Range. Here are the details:

Tuesday at Noon (3/13)
Wednesday at 2…

When is our Next Big Storm?

Image
Before we get into the next storm or storms I think it is fair to mention the tremendous benefits of this last storm. The Sierra picked up anywhere from 5-10 feet of snow which is pretty amazing for this time of year. Better yet, the snow levels were very low and all Tahoe resorts saw epic conditions this past weekend.

I was told the Mt. Rose Chutes opened up (partially) yesterday. I would guess that Yellow Jacket was closed. Here is a video of Ski Patrol's avalanche prevention measures:

Massive Yellow Jacket Avalanche

One lift operator told me after seeing this, "That was all five feet sliding down the hill".

Ok, on to the next storm. I have been hearing about a big warm storm coming in at the end of this week. We think the pattern will turn stormy, but as we reported last post, this storm looks to be cutting north and will only give us a glancing blow. It is the following storm that has our attention.

First of all, it is going to warm up to seasonal temperatures or abov…

We're Not Done Yet; Next Two Storms Look Warm

Image
We are currently in the lull that we talked about last post. This will not last long as this powerful storm begins to crank up again by mid to late afternoon:


The storm is forecast to finally clear out by late Saturday afternoon but not before dumping 4-8 feet of snow throughout the Sierra and Carson range with similar amounts in the Central Sierra around Mammoth.

This storm actually came in warmer than we expected but snow levels hovered around 5,200 feet at the their highest, which is a far cry from a typical large Sierra dump.

Then next two storms are coming in much warmer and snow levels could start pushing the 8,000 foot mark again. The first of the two storms now looks to be heading further north than we expected in our last post. That will deliver the Tahoe area just a glancing blow.


Notice the red lines, that is warmer air which is completely different than what we have been experiencing over the last few weeks.

A third storm is now appearing on the horizon. Although this is a…

Two Large Spring Storms Headed Our Way

Image
We talked about these two storms in the last post, but I feel it is worth putting out an update as both of these storms are large and packed with moisture. The first storm will show up very early Thursday morning. It will stick around for some 60 hours with heavy to moderate snow fall nearly non-stop for the Sierra. I like the trajectory of this storm to spill over and create havoc in the leeward valleys. We are looking at 3-5 feet or more for the Sierra while the foothills could see 1-3 feet and the valley floor could pick up several inches. This storm will be raging starting Thursday morning and last about 18-24 hours before a short lull and then another strong wave comes in. Here is a look at the forecast for Thursday at 4:00pm:


All snow at all elevations for the Tahoe Ski Resorts.

The next storm comes in very early the morning of March 7th. The EC weather model has this storm slamming us again, although not as much as the first storm. Here is a look at the forecast for the 7th:


Th…

Tahoe March Miracle?

Image
We have one storm, that has strengthened and is pulling moisture from the Pacific, knocking at our door. Another large spring storm on tap for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We are tracking a third storm which right now looks big for the following week. All three storms will be all snow for all Tahoe Resort Elevations.

Add it all together and do we have the March Miracle?

The first storm has picked up moisture and will hit Tahoe tomorrow morning. Right now the EC weather model has this storm hitting the area around 4:00 am tomorrow. Here is a look as the wave of moisture moves right over us, at the noon forecast for tomorrow:


This storm will stick around for about 24 hours. I do not see an enormous amount of moisture associated with this storm. For the Carson Range we should see about 6-12 inches of snow, possibly a bit more depending on how much moisture this thing picked up.

The next storm is much bigger, but right now, not the biggest of the 3. Still, this storm has an impressive m…

As Ridge Slides West, Storm Door to Tahoe Opens

Image
We are liking what we are seeing as we are settling into a classic winter weather pattern. The key of course, is our persistent ridge of high pressure. During the beginning of February, that ridge set up right on the coast and warm mild weather followed it up into Tahoe. As the ridge continues a slow push west, cold air is coming down from the north along with several storm systems. Here is a look at the current conditions, notice the location of the ridge of high pressure, which is much better than the beginning of the month (if you like cold and snow):


As the storms follow the Jet Stream up and over the ridge, they then come back down packing cold air. This is a classic "Inside Slider Pattern". Storms come down from the north and even a little from the east and bring cold air and some precipitation. How much is very difficult to forecast. In this pattern, the Carson range picks up more snow than the Sierra. Remember, the Carson Range is located on the eastern side of Lake …

String of Storms from North Start Sunday

Image
As our ridge in the jet has slid west, a small opening of the storm door door is being created. A string of storms are poised to hit our area, each progressively stronger, each pushing that ridge a little further west. What does that mean? Snow, maybe not lots of it, but certainly some snow that could be measured by the foot and not the inch. It also means much cooler weather.

We see 2-3 feet of snow coming our way in the next 10 days and possibly more. These storms are mostly coming in from the north so we do not see shadowing, in fact the Carson range could pick up more snow than the Sierra. Here is the timing:

Sunday 2/18
Early Thursday 2/22
Late Friday 2/23
Monday 2/26
Notice as the ridge slides a little more west, the storm track begins to come from the northwest as opposed to due north. That means there will be a better moisture tap and thus more precip.

Folks, this will be all snow for the Carson range as much colder weather is coming our way starting Sunday with snow to the lowest…