First Day or Middle of Winter?
South Lake got most of the snow yesterday with 7 inches reported at lake level. The resorts got various amounts due to isolated snow showers of 1-9 inches. Some incredible weekend totals and even more incredible 7 day totals. The Resort Totals and Reader Reports pages are updated with the totals. We got exactly what we expected over the weekend, 5-6 feet on top of every resort and 1.5-3 feet around the lake and in Truckee. The Resorts have picked up 80-100 inches in the past 7 days when you include the storm from last week. Yesterday was the last day of Fall and we just had one of the best Falls in history.
The resorts have picked up around 50% or more of their annual snowfall before winter has even started. Here are some totals/annual average=percentage as of yesterday. Mt. Rose – 260/480=47%, Kirkwood – 300/600=50%, Heavenly – 182/360=51%, Sierra – 260/480=54%, Squaw – 243/450=54%, Northstar – 245/350=70%. If you have any friends at the other resorts in marketing see if they could start putting year to date totals on their websites and I would be able to track them as well through the season.
The storm for tonight and Wednesday is approaching the coast and already splitting into 2 pieces as it hits the backside of the ridge to our East. You can see this very clearly on Satellite. This will send the heaviest precip to our North and South. It was thought earlier that the ridge would be a little further East and the storm would not split. This will decrease our snowfall amounts tonight and Wednesday. I mentioned last week the potential that the trough could dig too deep off the coast and drive the jetstream to our South, which is happening. Snowshowers could start as early as this afternoon, but the heaviest snow should fall in the early morning hours with 3-6 inches expected at lake level and 6-9 inches above 7,000 ft. On the crest we could see as much as a foot. This will be a nice blanket of powder on top of the incredible base we received this weekend.
Then we clear out for Thursday through Christmas day with temps in the 30′s Thursday and then the 40′s Friday & Saturday. The next storm approaches for Saturday night. This will be a cold and fast moving storm that will drop around 6-12 inches at lake level and 12-18 inches above 7000 ft. Saturday night. We should clear out again on Sunday, but the GFS is arguing a different case this afternoon.
Sunday & beyond the models have no agreement whatsoever as they try to figure out where the ridge will set-up on the Pacific. The GFS wants to keep the jetstream in Northern CA with significant snow on Sunday into Monday, but the rest of the models bring in the ridge and push all precip into the Pacific NW. Will have to keep an eye on it because the GFS has been consistent for the last few model runs. By the middle of the week all the models agree that the jetstream returns bringing more storms into the end of next week. The trend has been to set up the ridge further West to the North of Hawaii which puts us on the East side (warm side) of the trough. That could mean some milder storms with low elevation rain.
Looking super long-range into the first week of January the ridge may push further East in the Pacific putting us back on the cold side of the trough and bringing colder storms. Looking at the teleconnections the block over Greenland is still forecast to weaken which would assist in keeping the storm flow progressive and prevent any long-term ridging. The jetstream will be really strong by January so it would be hard for a ridge to set up for very long. I still don’t see the classic La Nina setting up yet with the large blocking high in the Gulf of Alaska. We should see that start to happen in January and we should see a cold trough set up near the West Coast with the jetstream coming underneath the blocking high into the West Coast. Wouldn’t mind a little help from the MJO but it looks like it is running laps between the Maritime Continent and West Pacific. It is so weak that it wouldn’t have any affect on our Weather for now. If we could get another 100 inch storm cycle again in January we could start closing in on the yearly average. Should be a fun winter, which amazingly only just starts today. BA
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