The Fire Hose…
We have a river of liquid on the way the second half of this week. It will be impressive but unfortunately the snow levels look high for a good part of the storm. We will see snow at the beginning and a decent amount at the end though.
A large area of low pressure will form in the Gulf of Alaska this week and will send the first wave of moisture into the West Coast Wednesday. This is a fast moving piece of energy that should drop a quick 3-6 inches of snow Wed-Wed night with snow levels down to lake level, with 6-9 inches possible along the crest.
Then we should have a bit of a break on Thursday as the main low pushes slowly towards the West coast and begins to draw in copius amounts of subtropical moisture. The precip should pick up again sometime on Friday. The snow levels may start as low as 7000 ft. but will climb up to 8000 ft. maybe a tad higher as the heaviest precip pushes in through Saturday.
We could see very heavy rain with the rivers coming up fast. The forecast models are currently showing 8-10 inches of liquid possible next weekend. On the highest peaks above 8000 and especially the mountains like Kirkwood, Rose, and Heavenly that go up to 10,000 ft. there could be rediculous amounts of heavy snow, you may need a couple yard sticks to measure it.
Here is the latest GFS model run for liquid through next Saturday.
There will be cold air working in at some point, most likely sometime next Sunday. There should be enough precip left to drop a decent amount of snow even to lake level, just not the impressive amounts seen above 8000 ft. We will have to continue to fine tune the details on the snow levels and precip amounts all week.
To summarize at this point it looks like a quick shot of snow on Wednesday with heavy rain Friday & Saturday below 8000 ft and several feet of snow above that, then heavy snow to lake level Sunday with snow possibly lingering into Monday.
The forecast models diverge beyond week 1 with the European showing low pressure continuing to spin off of the Pacific NW coast and continuing the storms into CA, while the GFS builds a ridge keeping us dry for a week. With the negative AO developing and negative NAO I would expect to see some cold troughs dropping into the U.S. and sitting over the East in the next couple of weeks. That could hold a ridge in place along the West Coast week 2.
The CFS v2 long-range model also predicts that storms continue for the West coast week 2, and as you can see below it continues to show increased chances of storms weeks 3 & 4.
Let’s hope that we get a lot of snow in December because the Winter forecast is for an early start to the season, which we have seen already, lasting through December and then below average precip in January and February. Hopefully that doesn’t come true.
Stay tuned for daily updates through the week as what could be an impressive storm tracks closer…BA
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