Lots of hype starting to build over the snow coming for Saturday and Monday. In a normal season we may not even pay much attention to a 6 inch forecast 4-5 days away. But we are snow starved. I don’t want to over analyze this storm too much but over the next several days the pattern will become more active snow wise for us as well as the country as the snow carpet is laid from coast to coast.

Saturday we have a weak system pushing in bringing colder air and light scattered snow showers.  We may pick up a couple of inches on the mountains but it should mainly be a dusting with flakes in the air to tease us.

The next storm dives in on Monday.  This storm will pick up more moisture off the ocean than the Saturday system but it won’t be all that strong by Tahoe standards.  You can see here that unlike the big storms last month that had a long fetch of moisture feeding into them this one is detached from the deep moisture tap.

What will be working in our favor is the cold nature of the storm that will bring higher snow ratios and more unstable air. That will help to keep post-frontal snow showers going. This is a cold front storm where we should see a burst of heavy snow while the cold front pushes through Tahoe on Monday and then light snow showers behind it. Total precip with this system is low in the half inch range but with the colder air we should do ok. Look for 3-6 inches at lake level with 4-8 inches above 7000 ft. and 6-9 inches along the crest.

There will be another weak storm moving into the Pacific NW on Wednesday and we may pick up a few more inches on the South side of the storm. The stronger storm for next weekend is still on the models. The ridge looks like it will move closer to the coast the second half of next week before retrograding again over the weekend. Still not sure how far South the heavy precip will push with this system and it is still far off so we will have to keep watching the track. The potential is there to get a decent storm.

The European ensembles continue to show the ridge out between 150-160w the week of the 20th allowing some bigger storms in. That matches the CFS long-range models we have looked at. The PNA forecast also continues to trend negative for that week which would favor a West Coast trough. We obviously didn’t get a subtropical jet into CA with the MJO in phase 7 this time so the next hope is that it moves into phase 1 & 2 which would also support a West Coast trough for the second half of the month. So some positive signs still for later in the month and we will keep watching with our fingers crossed for a comeback of Winter. Stay tuned…BA


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