It’s kind of amazing how fast people got down today about the storms next week when they heard they might go North to start next Wednesday. I have been saying in every post that if the ridge sets up over the Bering Sea instead of over Alaska or the Aleutians it could be a little too far North and West to get the heaviest precip into Tahoe. But the funny thing is that the forecast even from the NWS only pushed the snow back one day.
I have been looking at every model every day and the majority still bring in the storms the middle of next week. The one model that has strayed is the GFS which also happens to be the model tied to most forecasting outlets which is why I think a lot of people have started to get down today. You are being left in the dark if you don’t get to see the other models.
There are many other forecast models out there and some of them tend to be more accurate than the GFS in the long-range. Let’s take a look at the top 3 in my opinion. When people ask which models I trust for the long-range I usually list them as: Canadian, Japanese, European, and then GFS. So let’s look at today’s latest forecast from each.
Here is the Canadian showing the jetstream crashing into Tahoe on Wednesday. Look at that fetch across the entire Pacific…
Here is the Japanese which holds off the precip on Wednesday but shows this for Thursday…
Now here is the European total precip through Wednesday showing most of the precip staying North with maybe a few inches for the higher elevations….
Then the European like the Japanese model brings the jetstream crashing in on Thursday lasting through Saturday. Now here is the updated total precip through Saturday showing 3-4 feet over the 3 days…
Then as with all the models including the GFS it keeps the storms going through the following week. Here is the updated total precip forecast through Saturday the 28th…
That is not a hole in the precip over Oregon, that is off the end of the chart 10+++ feet of snow for up there. Is the heaviest precip to our North? Yes, but will we take the 6-8+ feet this shows over the 9 day period for Tahoe? (no need to answer that)
Now the GFS today keeps the storms to the North until the weekend and then down into Tahoe by Saturday night, but not as strong as the other models. A start a day or so later next week makes sense with the strong jet stream first hitting the Pacific NW and pumping a brief ridge off the coast, but the jet stream is so strong that as each storm hits the coast the precip should come South. Then pretty much all the models that have a ridge off the coast of Southern CA have it retrograding West through the following week keeping the storm door open.
So don’t get down on the forecast of the snow possibly starting a day later. I just showed you 3 models with a better track record than the GFS showing the storms coming in the middle of next week. So it’s 3 against 1 and still a week away so you decide….. What I like to use the GFS for is hints at possible pattern shifts in the long-range and then the details of storms like snowfall amounts within 5 days of the onset of the snow. So for right now at 7-8 days out it doesn’t mean as much in my mind.
Will all the other models shift towards the GFS or will the flaky GFS come back in line with the others? We will monitor it day by day until the first flakes fly. By the way, we could see some flakes Sunday night with the cold front pushing through. That is step 2 of the pattern change after step 1 of the ridge building near Alaska, and before step 3 of the jet stream coming underneath into the coast. Stay tuned……BA
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