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Last Storm in Series Hits Tonight; High Pressure Blockage for Next Week

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The last storm in our series of storms will hit the Tahoe area tonight. Here is a look at the storm as it approaches the west coast:


With the due west trajectory of this storm, it is going to come in warm with snow levels hovering around 7,500 feet. It is also has a tropical moisture tap which will bring in very warm, moist air. Probably best of all, for us valley dwellers, it will finally mix the air so the fog can lift out of here. We will start to see the impact this afternoon as high level mixing occurs.

This storm will pound Tahoe through Sunday afternoon and will leave 2-4 feet of base making, wet snow in it's wake.

High Pressure with then move in behind it. The storm machine will remain very active, but not for us. At least not for a little while as some giant storms will attempt to push the ridge out of here and reopen the storm door in about 10 days.

Here is a look at the blocking ridge for next week:



Our friends up in Portland and Seattle can expect some very rainy weath…

Weather Pattern to Remain Active Through at least Mid-December

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Our active weather pattern will continue through at least the middle of the month and may stay with us longer. Right now the EC and GFS weather models are in agreement that a series of storms are headed our way. However, they are not in complete agreement as to the impact of these storms on the Tahoe area and Northern Sierra.

The current storm should continue to send waves of precipitation our way through the remainder of the day. The Low Pressure system, will then dip a bit south and make an attempt to come back up to our area. Right now, however, it looks like most of the remaining moisture will stay south. This storm really hit the brakes as it got to our area.

We think the next storm will not arrive until Friday, which will give us a 3 day break in the precipitation. We have been tracking this storm for some time. Here is a look at the forecast for very late Friday night (December 6):


This is a large storm, although the models have backed off on just how much precip is coming our …

Impressive Series of Storms will Continue to Pound Tahoe

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I cannot remember such an active pattern so early in the season. I know, we were talking about what a slow start, but in true snow belt fashion, that all changed, seemingly overnight.

The current storm will continue to bring in light snow to the northern Sierra. The track of that storm did shift south and Mammoth looks to be the big winner.

Fear not, we are tracking 3 more massive storms in the next 15 days. Starting Saturday afternoon (11/30) and lasting through Monday night (12/2) this storm will bring a huge mixed bag of precipitation at a constant rate to Tahoe. We could even see some freezing rain in the leeward valleys. Here is a look at the storm around it's peak, early Sunday afternoon:


This storm will stall out and continue to dump on Tahoe. Eventually it will then move south, then head back north and bring some additional moisture to us. All told this storm will effect our weather from Saturday through next Wednesday (12/4).

Then the big storm moves in. This storm is imp…

Storm(s) Update - Potential for 10+ feet of Snow in Next 2 Weeks

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We are growing more and more confident that winter is here and the storm that is knocking at our door is the first in a series of storms that should deliver copious amounts of snow to both the mountains and valleys.

First things first, both the GFS and EC models are in nearly complete alignment with this next storm. The timing looks to start late tomorrow afternoon and last though Wednesday. Then the low crawls out, but not before delivering additional snow on Thursday and Friday. This storm has strengthened and could deliver 1-3 feet of snow to all Tahoe resorts. We are now leaning in the 2-3 feet for Mt. Rose. The potential does exist for more.


We have a number of blocking factors that are going to slow these storms down. That will cause them to linger over Tahoe and dump.
The next storm is slated for Saturday night and it is large:

This is also a much warmer storm that will impact So Cal more than No Cal. Snow levels could hover in the 8,000 foot range with this one. It too will st…

Weak to Moderate Storm for Wednesday; Major Pattern Change, Finally!

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We are tracking a weak to moderate storm for Wednesday the 27th. We will take what we can get after a very slow start to winter. The models are surprisingly in agreement for this storm as it comes in from the NW (much better trajectory) starting very late Tuesday night. It should produce snow all the way to the valley floor and this will be a snow event for all Tahoe resorts at all elevations. Here is a look at the ECMWF forecast for around 10:00 pm Tuesday the 26th:



This should be the first in a series of storms that could last into the middle of December or later. Buyer beware, we are looking quite a ways out and the GFS model is much more bullish on some major storms coming our way. We have been talking about this pattern change and it looks like it is nearly upon us.

I just read a very interesting post at Unofficial Rose about when the lifts will spin to the top at Mt. Rose. Sven has more information about this than anybody else and I highly encourage you, if you ski/ride in Tahoe…

Cooler Temps, Weak System then More Dry Weather; Possible Major Pattern Change for Early December

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We have a very weak and dry system dropping down off the NW Coast of the US. It will pick up moisture from another weak system that will move in over Southern California. The northern system will drop temperatures, significantly. There is a slight chance of very light snow for the leeward Sierra.


The major culprit for our dry weather, is that high pressure system off the west coast. That system has moved out a bit and allowed a nice alleyway for that Low to the north to drop down. But the High is very large and will force that low inland, way too soon. It will make it's way down to our area, but has no moisture tap to speak of. Our moisture will come in from the east so this will be an Eastern Sierra event. It is getting what little moisture it can from another Low Pressure system from the south:


This weak system is really nothing but another cold slider, which can be great with a 10 foot base, but this will do little if any good. Mt. Rose could pick up a couple inches of snow, bu…

First Winter Storm Not Until December?

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We are experiencing and will continue to experience a very slow start to winter. Average to above average temperatures should be in place, for the most part, for at least the next couple of weeks. We see little to no precipitation during that time. In fact, we see no significant precipitation until the beginning of December.

Of course forecasting that far out can be very unreliable, but see our last post. As the models gather more data and the algorithms to analyze that data become smarter, long term forecasting becomes more accurate.

Here is a look at the precip forecast between now and the 2nd of December:


This is showing that during the next 3 weeks, Tahoe will pick up a total of less than 1 inch of liquid precip. However, around the 2nd of December we are seeing signs that a storm could move in. Here is a look at the precip total between December 2nd and December 6th:



Again, forecasting storms this far out can be very unreliable, so take this with a grain of salt. This could easil…

Very Dry Start to Winter

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Assuming that Tahoe winters can begin in mid-October and sometime last through May, this looks to be a very dry start with widely varying temperature swings.

It is very difficult to forecast weather for 30 days, but I ran the EC Monthly just this morning and here is what it is saying:



Basically, it is forecasting that we are are looking at less than 1 inch of liquid precip between now and November 20th. Most models are calling for a very dry start to winter which is not surprising if you read our Winter Outlook column.

Having said all of that, Mother Nature is in charge and not the weather models. I expect this to change somewhat, but we still expect cooler and drier than average precip and temps this winter.

A strong and dry cold front will be coming down from Alaska and will drop our temperatures about 40 degrees on Sunday/Monday. Temps will slowly recover in the following week. We expect this pattern to continue.

Stay Tuned ...

Winter 2019-2020 Outlook

Long time no post. I hope everybody had an enjoyable summer! Despite our very snowy beginning to 2019, the precip tapered off in the spring and especially in the summer. The tinder was not quite as plentiful and we also were very lucky to have a reduced fire season.

We have several very cold storms headed our way over the next several days, which will produce some precip for Northern California, that should continue to dampen the fires that are currently burning.

We will also see off and on snow ranging from 6,000-8,000 feet in both the Sierra and Carson Ranges. However, temperatures will eventually warm up and most of that snow will melt.

If anything looks serious, we will post, but for now, fairly typical September weather.

2019/2010 Winter Outlook
With El Nino all but a forgotten memory, we have moved into a neutral ENSO. We have seen how El Nino and his sister La Nina can have a very profound effect on our weather. However, with El Nino gone we will need some other anomalies to occ…

Winter Starts Again Thursday

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Do not be fooled by this nice stretch of weather; El Nino is still out there which means the potential for winter storms is still very strong.

One such winter storm will show up very early on Thursday morning:


This is a very strong storm for this time of year and will usher in a pattern change that will last a week and put our nice stretch of weather far in the rear view mirror.

As you can see by the map above, a series of storms is headed our way with the final storm in the series due about a week from today.

This pattern change will usher in much cooler and much more unstable air. That means very windy over the course of the next week with snow levels at times approaching 5,500 feet!

What is amazing about this pattern change, occurring in the middle of May, is the amount of precip that is coming with it. Here is the precip forecast for the next week. Folks, we could see up to 5 feet of snow in the Western Crest of the High Sierra


I believe Slide Mountain will pick up 2-3 feet of sno…

El Nino Through 2019; Unofficial Rose Back Online

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First and foremost; the Unofficial Mt. Rose website and our good friend Sven, is back online. After a change of internet address it can now be found at the following location, be sure to subscribe by email when you get there:

Unofficial Mt. Rose

We are counting 3 storms that will cruise through the area over the next week or so as our weather pattern remains unstable. We do not expect these storms to produce much precipitation, but our weather, especially in the Sierra, will remain cloudy and very windy.

Perhaps more important is trying to figure out what happened starting around the 1st of January. We have been on the storm track, literally, for the past 3 months.

We believe that the solar minimum coupled with a weak to moderate El Nino is what is effecting our weather. If you take a look at the following chart, we could be seeing more of the same, possibly lasting through 2019!

With the exception of 1 outlier, the weather models all agree that El Nino will last through the end of the…

No April Fools; 3 Storms in 7 Days

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The powder days aint over yet as we are tracking 3 storms in the next 7 days. The middle storm is quite large for this time of year and will bring powder to the mountain.

Storm 1 (4/1 - 4:00 am - 4/3 - 2:00am)
Storm 1 will last slightly less than 48 hours. This is a fairly weak storm and a very warm storm. I expect snow levels to start in the neighborhood of 9,000-10,000 feet. Eventually those levels will drop to the 7,000 foot range. There will be strong shadowing and I expect only light rain/snow for the Carson Range.


Storm 2 (4/5 - 2:00pm - 4/6 - 11:00pm)
This is a much larger storm and is the storm we talked about in past posts that we have been tracking for late in the first week in April. However, this storm is very fast moving and will clear the area in about 36 hours. It will be cooler and has the possibility of bringing very strong winds to the area.


If this storm stalls or is delayed, it could mean a major event for the area. We will have to keep an eye on it.

Storm 3 comes al…

Next 10 Days: Heavy Mountain Snow and Valley Rain, Significant Warming, Inside Sliders

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Wow, what a winter we are seeing ... with no end in sight. The next 10 days will bring us a mix of just about everything. We warned about an unusually large, spring storm on track for next week. That is actually now two storms and both storms are taking aim at Tahoe and will produce significant precipitation. We see storms blasting our mountains starting Monday night and lasting through Friday of next week. Here is a look at the peak of the storm, next Wednesday around noon (3/27):


Once these storms have passed, we could be looking at a reasonably pleasant weekend as high pressure sets up just off the coast. This will allow warm air to come into our area and we could even see average or even above average temperatures from the 30th of March through most of the 1st of April.

Unfortunately, our ridge is then going to get kicked further out off the coast which sets up our worst weather pattern. Cold air will come down from the north, around that ridge and bring a series of very cold slid…

El Nino's Grip on Tahoe to remain Tight

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We have a couple of storms on tap for this week starting Wednesday. Please see the prior post or the daily weather outlets (as they have caught on) for a complete review.

However, we are tracking what could be a major spring storm that the EC weather model believes will slam Tahoe. This storm will approach the coast early next Tuesday (3/26). It will stall out and bring heavy precip to the Northern California and Southern Oregon coasts. Eventually it will move on shore, rise up over the Sierra and hit Tahoe. As the storm moves north, it's precip tail will slide south to Mammoth and parts of SoCal.

Here is a look at the storm as it approaches:


24 hours later it will begin to rise over the Sierra:


Again it will stall out, until it makes it's way further inland. As the main storm system does that, it will pull much cooler air out of the north:


Eventually, this storm will move out, but after 3-4 days. This time of year there is a much greater shadowing effect, so the amount of pre…

Think Winter is Over? Think Again; Next Storm Cycle Starts Early Wednesday

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Who knew the sky is actually blue? I certainly had forgotten that. We all had a very nice reminder and will continue to be reminded for a couple of more days; then the next storm cycle starts and this looks to be another good one.

We will start with Wednesday (3/20):


This is a weaker, warmer system, but the backside of this system will bring in some cold air. It will clear out early on Thursday. Then, late on Friday or early Saturday (3/23) the next storm comes in. It is packing more moisture and will be much colder:



That storm will hang around through mid-day Sunday, then after another short break, another storm comes in from the south and west:



We are trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves, and these storms are much weaker than what we have seen, but in the week starting next Wednesday, we are expecting about 2-3 additional feet up at Mt. Rose and probably more around the Western Crest and down in Mammoth.

Stay Tuned ...

Blocking Ridge Going to Keep Us High and Dry for the Next 8-10 Days

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A ridge of high pressure is dominating our weather and will continue to do so for at least the next 8-10 days. Right now that ridge is a little too far off the coast, allowing weak systems to drop in from the north, but that ridge is going to edge closer to the coast and block everything trying to make it's way to our area.


When the ridge does finally setup, I expect temperatures to actually creep above average, possibly as soon as this weekend. For now, these weak systems coming down from the north will keep us below average. Those temps will inch up until we finally see some sign of spring.

Stay Tuned ...

Last Storm in Cycle, Knocking at the Door

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If you have read our last few posts, you know that another pretty good sized storm is headed our way that will effect the entire state of California for the next 3 days.

We believe this will be the last storm in this most recent cycle. Of course, the storms have come so close together that it has been difficult to define a storm cycle.

Also, because of the recent storm history and the fact there is still plenty of weather out there, our confidence is not exactly high that we may be entering a dry period, but for now that is what the models are saying.

The peak of this storm should be about mid-morning tomorrow:


We are staying with our earlier prediction that snow levels should average around 6,500 - 7,000 feet, which means a likely mixed bag at lake level and all rain for the leeward valleys. These storm will spill over and we expect decent amounts of rain for the valleys.

Here is a look at the storm total, not what we have been seeing, but storms do weaken the later we get into the y…

60 Feet in 60 Days; Not Possible? Think Again

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Imagine: No Blower Trucks, No 4 Wheel Drive and No Weather Forecasting computer models. In 1846, we hit a similar weather pattern where it literally snowed for 2 straight months, starting in late October! The rest is history and we now have Donner pass and Donner lake to commemorate the 39 lost souls in the Sierra who attempted to cross the pass and were caught by an early and unforgiving winter.

Folks, this is the snow belt and we should not be surprised by anything Ma Nature throws our way. What is a bit surprising is our record breaking winter, just 2 years ago, looks like it may fall by the wayside. I say that because we are tracking 3 more major winter storms in the next 10 days that will continue to dump copious amounts of snow on the Sierra. Remember, we had a very slow start to the season and we even heard complaints about our above average snowfall prediction. To which we replied, "Just Wait".

Now 2 months later there are areas of the Sierra that will have picked up…

Change in Forecast: It is Going to Snow Forever!

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If you read our last post, the first storm that we thought would miss us and not get over the Sierra has been given a powerful shot of energy. Couple that with a moisture tap to the sub-tropics and we have all the makings for another major winter storm.

We should not be surprised. 2019 has been this way and looks to continue being this way. So the next storm cycle starts ... now!

The leading edge is creating violent down slope winds for the leeward valleys and especially the foot hills with 100+mph gusts being recorded and wreaking havoc up and down the range.

Behind it:


Notice the moisture tail that extends to the end of the earth! This is the forecast for today (2/25) at 4:00 pm.

This is only gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective). This should continue through Thursday with some of the heaviest precip we have seen this year.

On it's heels, the storm we talked about last post, here is a look at the forecast for noon on Saturday:



But this just keeps getting better. …

Next Storm Cycle is not Far Off

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Not much has changed since our last post. This last storm was another overachiever. That storm has moved on and high pressure is going to setup along the cost. Our temperatures will gradually warm. Here is a look at the current weather:


You can clearly see the ridge of high pressure that will dominate our weather. We could see a very weak slider this weekend, but by next week we will be back close to average temps.

However, like everything else since we turned 2019, that is going to change when the next storm cycle comes in. We will start to feel the change around the 26th. Our ridge of high pressure is going to get bumped well south and that should open the storm door once again. Here is a look at the forecast for the 26th, notice the difference between the map above and the map below:


You can notice the storms are beginning to stack up. Then around March 2nd, the next cycle of storms begins with the arrival of the first storm:


Notice the distinct storm track around the high pressure…