As Ridge Slides West, Storm Door to Tahoe Opens

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 Tahoe and the Sierra is located on the Western side. Mt. Rose is located in the Carson Range, Squaw Valley in the Sierra.

What we really like is how the ridge continues to slide west. When this happens, the storms come down from the north and pick up much greater amounts of precip from the Pacific Ocean. That means more snow and a little less cold. Here is a look at how the Jet will setup for next week:

Notice how the storms now are coming down from the north but over water, prior to hitting Tahoe. For this reason we see larger storms in our future.

If you read our last post, things have not changed much, here is a storm update for the next 10 days:

2/22 - Thursday Noon, Duration 18 Hours, 6-12 inches

2/26 - Early Monday Morning,  Duration 30 Hours 12-24 inches

Same Storm Late Monday Afternoon

As the Jet continues its westward migration, the storm door will begin to open from the west and even the south, which will mean slightly warmer storms with greater precip that effect the entire state of California. March roars in like a lion, here is the forecast for March 1st:

We are still a ways out on this one, but this has the potential to bring several feet of snow. It also looks like it is will come in cold enough to be all snow for all Tahoe Resorts.

Finally, here is a look at the 10-day precip total:

Much of the precip being forecast for central and southern California, will be the storm coming next week at this time. Right now the majority of the precip is forecast to go south of us. I believe that will change and we will pick up more precip than is currently being forecast. For now the Carson Range is in line to pick up 3-4 feet of fresh snow in the next 10 days.

Generally speaking, the Northern Hemisphere has been pummeled by a record breaking, brutal winter. We have been the outlier. Obviously, it is our turn.

Stay Tuned ...


  1. I hope the storm door stays wide open through the spring including a miracle march

    1. If that ridge stays west, your "miracle" will arrive. Looks like we are good through the first couple of weeks of March.

  2. Will we be able to get any snow at lower elevations like Camino and Pollock Pines, 3000 - 4000 feet on the western sierra?

    1. The cold air will be in place but these slider type systems tend to drop down the Eastern Slope. However, next week's storms are very cold and have a better trajectory. Check your local NWS, they will know for sure, we forecast weeks in advance which makes it more difficult to pinpoint local accumulations. Thanks for your reply and good luck on the snow!


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