Confidence in the snowfall for next week continues to increase. We have had agreement and consistency among the forecast models the past 2 days which is what we are looking for. Every model now shows the storms moving in the middle of next week and lasting at least a week. You will now also start to see the snow showing up in the forecasts for most weather outlets.

We have been watching for this pattern to come since the middle of December. Here is a quote from my December 16th post: “The thinking for January is that the ridge builds over Alaska replacing the trough over the past month which should eventually push the jet stream South in the Pacific. The combination of the Arctic cold coming down from the North with the jetstream feeding into it under the ridge would create the kind of January that I am thinking we could have.”

Now here is a quote from the NWS Reno discussion this morning: “MOISTURE AND JET ENERGY WILL BEGIN TO UNDERCUT RIDGE OVER THE BERING SEA AND BEGIN TO MERGE WITH COLDER AIR AT THE MIDDLE TO LATE PART OF NEXT WEEK.”

That was pretty close from 4 weeks out and it was based on us seeing the strat warming causing a -AO and blocking along with the MJO into the Western Pacific retrograding the ridge. The stratospheric warming has started to cool a little but is forecasted to come back even stronger which may have implications for blocking into February. The MJO convection is re-emerging in the Western Pacific and forecasted to move into phase 7 which would suggest a -PNA and the trough staying along the West Coast.

The one thing we have been seeing though is that the blocking ridge next week will be up in the Bering Sea which is a little further North and West than we would like to see to get the heaviest precip into CA. The forecast models trended that way today showing the brunt of the storms to our North through Wednesday but we will still see snow on the South side of storms. Then the heavier precip could move in by Thursday and through the weekend.

Here is the total precip map from the 12z European model today.

This is a couple of feet over the couple of days from Thursday-Saturday.  Then more storms to follow Saturday into the following week.  Not the huge snows like to the North, but it’s in feet so we will not complain at this point. I would still like to see this for a couple more days as I don’t trust the position of the ridge in the Bering Sea as it could be too far Northwest and their is still a chance the storms stay just to our North.

It is still too early to talk snowfall forecasts.  We will watch the models for a couple more days and start to look at possible snow totals on Friday.  With the PNA forecast really dropping negative today the long-range beyond next week looks like it could continue to be good into February.  Stay tuned…..BA

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