We are now within 5 days of what should be the onset of the first storm which means confidence in the models really jumps. It also means that you can all stop emailing me about the snow levels because within 5 days I will start talking about potential snow levels and snowfall amounts.
It is still a little early to know how strong each of the waves that come in will be. It looks like there will be one coming in Wednesday night, another on Friday, and another next Sunday. It will be cold behind the cold front coming through this Sunday but warm air will push in ahead of the first wave on Wednesday.
Right now it looks like the snow levels with the first wave Wednesday/Thursday will be around 7000 ft. That could mean the perfect base building snow. Every season when a storm has 7000 ft. snow levels people start to freak out. I always say you don’t ski at the lake you ski on the mountain. For those of you not familiar with the Tahoe elevations the Lakeshore is around 6200 ft. and the base of most resorts start just above that elevation. Then the peak of each resort is 8500-10 thousand feet on average around the basin. That means when we have 7000 ft. snow levels 75 percent or more of the mountains receive snow.
This first wave also looks like the weakest but could still bring in over a foot of snow. Then a stronger and colder wave for Friday into Saturday with snow levels below lake level. The 3rd wave for Sunday looks like it could be the coldest and strongest. This could be a great pattern with base building snow to start and then lighter and lighter snow on top. At this point though it is going to take a lot of snow to get a base because we are starting from scratch.
The European model is still showing 5 or more feet of snow combined through the period. It is still a little early and there are a lot more models that are not not in range yet we can use for snow forecasts as we get closer. I will update on the new details coming in over the weekend. BA
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