We are watching a waste of a storm coming onshore tonight.  Actually not a waste because it will bring needed rain to the coast down through Southern CA.  But a wast as far as a chance for snowfall.  We will see some snow falling from the skies though which is a welcome sight.

Nothing has really changed as the storm will split and slide South.  A dusting up to 3 inches looks likely across most of the Tahoe Basin.  Some forecast model runs bring the 3-6 inch like close but I would lean towards the lesser amounts with unfavorable wind direction.

The trend on the models today continues to be toward retrogression of the ridge out to around 140w this weekend and into next week.  That would setup up a colder pattern as the cold is able to push down the West Coast.  It would also open the storm door slightly allowing storms to come down the coast and inland over CA.  If it materializes it would be the type of pattern that is very dependent on storm track over land or water as to how much snow the storms could bring.

The next chance for a storm after tomorrow would most likely be Sunday.  The GFS is the least impressive but the Euro and Japanese models bring in a light-moderate snow event.  We’ll watch the trend of where the ridge will setup throughout the week.

A little over a week ago I posted the long-range CFS forecast maps for February.  They showed the ridge shifting North and West over Alaska and Western Canada through the month, eventually opening up the storm door underneath by the end of the month.  Usually in a normal winter it isn’t necessary to have to use unreliable long-range models as much to search for snow because there is always a storm in the short to mid term.

Here is week 1…

Week 2….This has the ridge a little closer to the coast like a lot of the GFS runs have had keeping storms into the Pacific NW and Canada.

Week 3…..The colder NW flow storm track that some models bring in week 2.

Week 4….Bingo, this would open the door to cold from the North and undercutting of the ridge out in the Pacific into the West Coast.

This is a little more Norhwest with the ridge instead of North then West it had over a week ago.  Either way the trend is for the pattern to turn open up with increased chances for storminess as we go through the month.  These models are ok at pointing out trends and not showing specific storms.

There is a lot of Winter out there.  The Arctic air was bottled up for a lot of the Winter near the pole with the Positive Arctic Oscillation.  You can see up top that in the past 2 weeks it has gone negative, possible due to the stratospheric warming.  What can happen as the Arctic air releases South is it goes to the other side of the globe.  This time it has dumped into Asia and then Europe.

Europe was having a mild Winter like the U.S. until this happened.  We saw the kind of cold that came down building up North with Alaska having one of the coldest months on record in January.  It is possible that the cold and snow will be coming to the U.S. finally over the next few weeks.

I though I would leave you with this excerpt from a post by Dr. Joe D’Aleo today, a longtime long-range forecaster and the first Director of Meteorology for the Weather Channel.  It highlights what has hit Europe since the AO went negative, as well as the big snows they have been having this season in Asia.  Tim from unofficialnetworks.com has been in Japan this Winter and has been putting up lots of posts about all the snow they have been getting.

“An onslaught of extreme cold and heavy snow in Europe has killed more than 300 people, impeded travel and left about 50,000 without power. In the Ukraine, where the winter started unusuallly mild and snowless, the Ministry of Emergencies reported the most deaths in the Siberian arctic snap that has lasted more than a week, with at least 131 dead as of late Sunday, after temperatures plunged below minus 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Nearly 2,000 people were hospitalized for hypothermia and frostbite, the ministry said.

Russian gas-export monopoly OAO Gazprom, the world’s largest natural-gas extractor, said it was unable to satisfy gas shortages in at least eight European countries, but said it was “doing its best” to meet soaring demand. Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Italy were hit by supply reductions, a European Commission spokeswoman said.

Temperatures dropped as low as 58 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in Kazakhstan.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, under a state of emergency, rescued dozens of people trapped in cars after avalanches and strong winds in the east cut off hundreds of villages. More than 40 inches of snow fell in the capital, Sarajevo. Thousands were trapped by snow in Serbia, while more than a dozen people were found frozen to death during the weekend in Hungary and Lithuania, authorities said.

In Italy, Rome had its heaviest snowfall since 1985, causing traffic chaos and forcing authorities to close several tourist sites, including the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. Government offices were to be shut Monday. People skied down main thoroughfares in Rome Sunday, the Financial Times reported.

Some regions of Italy — including about 30,000 customers in the Rome area — were still without power Monday, even after the storm passed. At least 11 people died in Italy, and five in France. Pope Benedict XVI appeared at his window in the Vatican wearing a white overcoat for his weekly address to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square Sunday.

Britain’s Meteorological Office forecast severe cold would continue in parts of England through Thursday, as snow ranged from about 7 inches in London to more than 2 feet, with 3-foot drifts, in other parts of the country. More snow fell in eastern and southeastern England early Monday.

Heavy snows fell in the last week in Japan. We think our lake effect snowbelt gets a lot of snow. Well in in the northwest of Japan where subzero air from Siberia crosses the Japan Sea prodigious amounts of snow falls each year. An avalanche killed three last week.
Here are some amazing photos from Japan from 2010. The snow walls lining the road reached 9 meters (27 feet!).”

Hopefully coming to a town near you soon! Stay tuned…BA

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