The Big One…
Update 9 PM:
Temperatures have been falling as the precip begins to increase this evening. At 9 PM it is snowing hard here at 6750 ft. with a temperature of 34 and high winds. Still expecting the snow levels to come up after midnight but this storm continues to look a little colder today. Will be keeping an eye on the cold air aloft and snow levels all night and Sunday.
Sorry for the crash this morning. There were so many people on the site it crashed the server and I had to purchase my own server and get everything up and running on that today. If it ever happens again you can always get the posts on opensnow.com.
From This Morning:
The resorts picked up another 1-2 feet of snow in the past 24 hours, mainly from the heavy precip associated with storm #2 yesterday. Snow levels were around 7000 ft. for the most part but dropped as low as lake level during the heavy burts of precip. 3 day totals are now up to 2-3.5 feet at the summits.
This morning the snow levels have been hovering around 7000 ft. and should stay in the 7000-7500 ft. range through this evening. Today the winds are picking up and we are seeing rain/snow showers from the lift associated with the moist onshore flow off the Pacific. We could see several more inches above 7000 ft. today.
The winds will really start to crank tonight as storm #3 approaches with gusts as high as hurricane force at 75mph in the valleys and up to category 4 hurricane strength at 150 mph over the ridges. The the heavy precip begins to push in during the early morning hours and the snow levels shoot up to 9000+ ft. This should only last several hours before colder air works in as the cold front approaches. Sunday morning the snow levels should drop back down to 8000 ft. and then 7000 by midday and lake level by evening.
The forecast models are in good agreement that 2-3 inches of liquid will fall over the basin and 3-4 inches West of the lake along the crest. Above 9000 ft. we could see 2-3 feet with 3-4 along the crest. Below that the forecast gets tricky as it depends on how fast the cold air works in. I think we could see accumulating snow all the way to lake level by Sunday evening if enough precip is still around. Between 7000-9000 ft. 1-3 feet are possible and several inches below that. Tomorrow will be a fun day of tracking the precip and snow levels as it will be a race to get the cold air in while the heavy precip is still falling.
The heavy rain on top of the snow that has fallen the past few days is going to cause a quick rise in the Truckee river Sunday morning. Here is the warning this morning from the NWS in Reno. As a reference flood stage in downtown Truckee is 4.5 feet. Last night they were comparing it to the flood of November 1950. I’m not sure the difference as that was before my time.
“IMPACT…AT 8.0 FEET…MAJOR FLOOD DAMAGE TO ROADS…BRIDGES AND
SOME HOMES ALONG TRUCKEE RIVER BETWEEN SQUAW CREEK AND TRUCKEE.
LIKE FLOOD OF DECEMBER 23 1955…ABOUT 7800 CFS.”
The precip will taper off Sunday night and everything wet will freeze as temps drop into the 20’s. Monday and Tuesday we will have a break in the storms with clear skies. 2 Good days to go up and check out all the new snow in the higher elevations.
The next storm for Wednesday is looking much weaker on the model runs this morning and we may only see a few inches of high elevation snowfall and low elevation light rainfall. Then a break again for the end of the week as the ridge builds in with sun and mild temps.
Next weekend into the following week it looks like the ridge will retrograde in the Pacific allowing a cold trough to drop into the West. Right now it’s too far out to say how far West the trough will dig. We could just see a week of much colder air or some colder storms. There is a lot of cold air building up in Alaska and Canada as Alaska just had a top 5 coldest November. That cold air will want to come South and East, the question is just how far West is will be able to spread.
Stay tuned for updates….BA
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