February Recap/March Forecast….
February was slightly below average temperature wise and dry despite the big storm right at the end. The temperatures recorded at the Truckee airport reporting stationg averaged .04 degrees below average for the month. Precipitation for the Tahoe Basin was 36 percent of average and 40 percent for the Truckee River basin. That bringst them to 47 and 50 percent respectively year to date for the water year.
The storm at the end of the month brought the resorts up to around 37% of average snowfall so far for the season. I’m still waiting for the official updated number for the Central Sierra Snow Lab. The snowpack is up to around 37% as well with a slight bump from the last storm. That is just enough to notch us above the lowest maximum snowpack on record during the 1976-77 season.
March can be a pretty good month for us so we’ll have to see what it brings. It feels like spring outside today and the same for tomorrow before a cold front makes it fell like Winter again on Tuesday. Highs in the 50′s will be replaced by highs in the 20′s and 30′s on Tuesday and Wednesday. The cold front will bring a band of snow through the basin. Right now it looks like 1-3 inches at lake level, 3-6 inches above 7000 ft., and 4-8 inches possible along the crest.
Then we have another break Wed-Fri with temperatures rebounding back into the 40s. What is interesting is an area of low pressure that is splitting off from the storm coming across the Pacific for Tuesday. That low spins North of Hawaii as the ridge slides over it and off our coast for the Wed-Fri time frame. Then the low heads North and joins with the next storm moving across the Pacific that will impact the Pacific NW next Saturday.
Right now it looks like the departing high pressure will keep most of the precip next weekend to our North with the moisture associated with the trailing front falling apart. It may act as the fullback clearing the way for the next storm next Tuesday as a long-wave trough sets up off the coast. Just about all of the forecast models show the upstream ridge setting up out around 160-170w Northwest of Hawaii allowing a couple of bigger storm to come into CA next week. Even though this is still a week a way it has been showing up consistently the past few days.
The PNA is negative which is a pattern that tends to bring us storms and has every time it’s been negative this Winter. We had the big storms this past week, a smaller one Tuesday, and then maybe more big ones next week. Until the PNA goes back positive or the MJO moves into phase 6 & 7 I don’t see anything that points to a constant ridge off the coast. The pattern should stay fairly progressive for now.
The Central and Eastern parts of the country are going to have a heat wave week 2 which would also suggest that a trough could be near the West Coast. Today’s long-range CFS V2 model shows us drier again week 3 and then above average precip for week 4. Always take that with a grain of salt but I like to throw it agains the wall each Sunday and then see what sticks. Quick update tomorrow on the storm for Tuesday….BA
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