Limping Across the Finish…
This is the final weekend of operations for several resorts and winter is spitting out the last bits snow here for the finish. Resort Totals pages is updated showing that the resorts picked up 2-6 inches overnight. South lake looks to have gotten a bit more than North Lake. That brings the April totals into the 18-30 inch range at the summits.
Also, it looks like the pictures are now working on the Snow Pics page. The first 11 are the ones I took up on Donner Summit at the end of March. As you can see the snow is up past the power lines and up to the second story roofs of some houses. That coincides with the 5 larest snowpack on record in over 65 years that was recorded by the snow lab in the same vacinity of 17.2 feet.
The light snowfall continues on the mountains as the moist flow continues to push moisture into the area. There is another wave of moisture moving in on Sunday and a stronger storm on Monday. This will keep the light snow showers going through Sunday and Monday similar to today.
The strongest part of Monday’s storm will stay North of us but we will get the strong winds as if we were going to get the brunt. We should see a couple of inches above 7000 ft. each day through Monday with totals of 3-6 inches by Monday night. This continues the same weather we have had since this past Monday of a few inches of fresh sticky snow on the mountains each morning.
Highs through Tuesday will stay cold for this time of year with highs in the 30′s on the mountains and the 40′s at lake level. Wednesday and Thursday we will warm up quickly ahead of the next storm. Highs will jump to near 50 on the mountains and near 60 at lake level.
We will have some retrogression of the ridge by the middle of the week out to near 150w. This is a great spot in the Winter for cold storms but it’s the end of April. We should just see a shot of colder air on Friday as another storm hits the Pacific NW and pushes colder air into the region.
Next weekend looks fairly nice and clear as the ridge retrogrades out to 160w. This will allow another storm to start the first week of May to possibly dig a little further down the coast. The GFS model has been consistent with this all day and the Euro shows the same but not as cold. This trough could bring a blast of really cold air for May and a bit of snow.
Then we look to ridge up and warm up as we go towards the second week of May. What is interesting is that the long-range models continue to want the ridge to sit out around 150-160w. With that pattern we will not get any prolonged periods of warm and dry weather. Instead of the zonal flow we have now with the continuous moisture, the next couple of weeks will feature shots of colder air with nice weather in between.
Looking at the forecast models for the teleconnections they still show the AO and NAO going negative the first week of May and the PNA slightly positive. This should build a ridge in the West and keep it in place for a while. I’m thinking that once the ridge builds in the end of the first week of May it stays and we have a prolonged period of warm and dry conditions.
We’ll have to see if my theory is right. There are still some fairly strong storms moving through the North Pacific and if we don’t get a ridge along the West Coast and the Pacific NW continues to get hit, we will stay unsettled. Last weekend was the first weekend I rode without a jacket this spring which is not common for Tahoe. I was back in a jacket today as it was snowing all morning on the mountain.
48 days so far, just 2 more to reach my goal. Some of you who work at a resort or don’t work at all may scoff at that, but that’s not bad for a workaholic. Those are resort days. I’m thinking the back country will be available for a long while still, especially up on Shasta. Stay tuned….BA
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