It’s Downhill From Here….
Resort Totals updated as of 6 a.m. Resorts around the area are almost all reporting within 4 inches of 3 feet in the past 24 hours with a range of 32-40 inches. That was the biggest 24 hour snowfall this season for many of the resorts. Lake level reports of 16-25 inches in the past 24 hours. We are now up to 7-14 feet in the past week on the resorts and 4-8 feet around the lake and in Truckee. We have 3 more days of snow to deal with but nothing as big as yesterday.
We had some impressive snowfall rates last evening up to 4 inches an hour. I went into a storm and came out to 4 inches on my car in about an hour last night. The heavy snow tapered off around midnight as the moisture pushed East of the area. That allowed the plows to catch up in the early morning hours and get the roads in much better shape.
As the core of the low rotates inland over Oregon this morning it is continuing the moist flow off the Pacific and will keep the snow showers going today. The heaviest snow will be confined to the West side of the lake and along the crest today. We could see the sun peek out in the basin in between snow showers. That will help with the cleanup in the basin but the winds will be fairly strong today so lots of blowing. Not expecting as much snow from the showers today as I was yesterday as the air is a little drier. Should pick up 2-4 inches at lake level, 3-6 inches above 7000 ft., and up to 10 inches on the crest.
Next storm is approaching fairly quickly and we should see increased snowfall later tonight. The heaviest snow will fall during the day on Saturday and then lingering showers into Saturday night. This storm is nowhere near what we had yesterday but with all the snow on the ground blowing around and more snow falling it will be a snowy day tomorrow. The storm is also focused a bit further North this morning on the models which would mean a little less snowfall. Overnight snowfall should be about the same as today and then 3-6 inches tomorrow at lake level, 4-8 inches above 7000 ft., and up to a foot on the crest.
Some light snow showers Saturday night cap us off with a few more inches. Total snowfall tonight through Saturday night is 6-12 inches at lake level, 12-18 inches above 7000 ft., and up to 2 feet along the crest. There is one last storm for Sunday afternoon/evening, but it is much further North on the models this morning and should only bring a few more inches. We will just have to watch that one this weekend to see how far South it can push but it’s a weak storm. With 4-5 feet already in the past 2 days we should have totals of 5-7 feet on the resorts for this second storm cycle of the week by Sunday.
On Monday we clear out and clean up as the ridge shifts to off the West coast blocking storms next week. I will have lots of numbers to add up on Monday from all of this snow in March and for the season. The ridge expands North during the week so warm weather with highs in the 50′s possible by Thursday. We are going to go from cold and snow to spring skiing on a huge snowpack, but that’s Tahoe.
The teleconnections favor a ridge next week with the +PNA, -NAO pattern and the MJO looping around towards the Western Pacific. That pattern looks to start to reverse the week of the 4th and going towards mid-month. The models show a small retrogression of the ridge next weekend as a storm tries to move through next Sunday. Right now most of it looks to stay to our North but colder air would return.
Going beyond that I would watch the MJO. If it stalls out in the Western Pacific then it could be ridge city here in April. If it dies or continues to loop around through the Pacific I think we could see the ridge retrograde back in the Pacific again the week of the 4th and that could bring a return of a West Coast trough. Right now the models are all over the place but they do hint at retrogression that week. We should be done with big cold storm cycles for the season, but I think we still have some more snow in April to add to the season totals before we’re done. Stay tuned……..BA
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