Snow levels stayed at around 8500 ft. during the storm & fell to around 8000 ft. which is evident looking at the mountains this morning. The peaks are all covered in white all around Tahoe this morning. The resorts around the area reported 3-5 inches yesterday before the snow levels raised & Mt. Rose reported 7-9 inches this morning. Mammoth got 30″ at their base & 4-5 ft. at the top. They are opening this Friday which is the 2nd earliest opening for them in history.
Skies are clearing & we are headed into a nice sunny weekend with temps in the 60′s. The models are backing off a little on the storm for Monday & the snow levels look to be above 7000 ft. We may get some showers & cooler temps but this storm is no big deal. The ridge looks to build in for another week following the storm bringing more sun & mild temps. Right now it looks as if our next chance for a cold storm is the last week of the month.
I want to talk more about the upcoming winter. I have mentioned before that one of the best analog years to this winter is 51-52. There are some other winters with a mild or moderate El Nino during a cold PDO like 63-64 & 76-77. The reason 51-52 matches a little better is that it was at the start of the last cold PDO cycle which is what we appear to be in now. The latter two winters were below average El Nino years & 51-52 was one of the biggest seasons on record in Tahoe. I have been trying to figure out the difference & in my post on Sept. 28th I wrote, “The weak El Nino years coming off of La Nina years are 51-52, 63-64, & 76-77. The latter 2 were dry years. Two differences in 51-52 were: 1) We were heading into a cold cycle of the PDO which may have caused the reactionary El Nino similar to this year, 2) the El Nino conditions ended prior to the main winter months of JFM.”
Yesterday Joe Bastardi came up with the same conclusion in his blog as to why 51-52 is different, “the El Nino ended before the main winter months”. He wants a big year on the East Coast & the amount of snow was opposite on the East & West Coast these three winters. He is trying to find a reason to throw out 51-52 & we are looking for a reason for it to be our year. His expanded theory is that with the lower pressures over the Southeast U.S. with the jetstream during an El Nino year, during a cold PDO which signals colder air over the continent, allows the colder air to sink Southeast out of Canada. When the Eastern half of the country gets a big trough it usually mean that there is a ridge over the West. This could explain the dry Mild El Nino years in CA during the cold PDO. During 51-52 the El Nino crashed by December which would have elminated this affect.
So I am going to stick with my theory that if El Nino isn’t going to significantly strengthen then we want it to crash by Christmas. Yesterday’s El Nino Update showed that region 1+2 cooled to -.07, regions 3 & 3.4 stayed fairly steady, & region 4 warmed to 1.0. This has definitely shifted to a Central Pacific El Nino. We will have to keep monitoring what happens. Accuweather will be coming out with their updated winter forecast on Friday which should be interesting. BA
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