Thursday Evening Update…
It’s dumping all the way down to lake level. Report of 5 inches already at Kirkwood. Looks like the same on the Sugarbowl cam. Reports of 3 inches from groomers up on the Gold Coast at Squaw as of 7 pm. As of 9 pm the best forcing has moved South of the area so the heaviest snow should be done for the basin. Plenty of moisture for continued snow showers overnight and steady snow along the crest. Still expecting 2-4 inches at lake level by morning and 4-8 inches above 7000 ft. Some spots along the crest in the 8-12 inch range like Kirkwood which only has 3 inches to go to hit that range as of 7 p.m.
The strong storm for tomorrow night still looks to be on track. Snow levels will begin to come up during the day on Friday ahead of the storm to 7000 ft. or higher. As the heavier precip moves in overnight the snow levels will come down to 6500-7000 ft. We’ll have to see if the snow is heavy enough to drag the cold air down and drop snow levels to lake level even though the 1000-500 thickness shows 7000 ft. snow levels. By Saturday morning the snow levels drop to lake level. Plenty of moisture behind the front keeping snow showers going through the day on Saturday.
The question is how fast the snow levels drop vs the heaviest precip moving through for lake level. Great agreement among the models that 2-3 inches of liquid falls through Saturday. With the questionable snow levels we’ll cut the snowfall in half for lake level and say 10-15 inches by Saturday night. We’ll adjust that this time tomorrow when we see where snow levels are. Above 7000 ft. 15-25 inches with 25-35 inches along the crest above 8000 ft.
There will be a break on Sunday before the next colder storm moves in Sunday night into Monday. Total liquid on the latest model runs is around an inch but the snow ratios will be higher with the colder air. Could see a foot at lake level with 18 inches above 7000 ft. through Monday. Total snowfall for the period by the Tuesday morning snow reports should be around 1.5-2.5 feet at lake level with the higher amounts on the West shore, 3-4 feet above 7000 ft., and 4-5+ feet above 8000 ft. along the crest.
Here is the total precip map from the GFS showing the 2-4 inches in yellow and 4-6 in light orange close to the crest.
By Tuesday the ridge builds in off the coast as the trough digs to the North of Hawaii. That pushes the storm track back up into the Pacific NW. The forecast models are in total disagreement by the end of next week. The Euro shows the ridge forming out near 160w and starting a cold storm pattern with storms diving down the coast from the Gulf of Alaska into the first week of February. The 12z run even pushes the ridge up into Alaska again the first week of Feb. with another blocking pattern setting up like this week.
The GFS forecast model however shows the ridge staying out near 130-140w keeping storms up into Alaska and Canada with just lots of cold coming down from Canada. Then builds the ridge in over the West as a deep trough digs over the East. You can see the ridge off the coast here on the GFS for day 10.
There will be a battle as the negative PNA suggests troughing and storms along the West coast and the -AO forecast suggests we could see more blocking setup. But if the NAO goes negative like some models suggest it could hold a deep trough over the East and a ridge over the West. There will be very cold air building over Canada so if we do see a trough dive into the West next weekend it should be very cold. Let’s not think about this too much now though, let’s enjoy all this great snow that is falling. Stay tuned for updates…BA
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