Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cold, Snow, more snow, more cold, more snow............................

Ok, so it has been so busy lately with the arrival of winter that long range discussions have been put to the wayside. Let's take a look tonight at what is going on since this may be one of only two days without snow for at least the next 10 days.

The ridge is finally at near 150w with an amplified pattern allowing for cold shots to come down from the Arctic and storms to come down the coast along with the cold fronts. There is a ton of cold air up in the arctic. Arctic sea is growing at a record pace and cold and snow records are being broken all across the northern hemisphere. Just this week there was only the 3rd measurable snowfall on record since 1948 in New Orleans, 6 inches fell just north of the city, and the earliest measurable snowfall on record fell in Houston. Today it snowed from the foothills of San Diego & Las Vegas down to 1500 ft. and across the desert to Las Vegas, which reported its largest snowfall since 1978 with 6 inches and it is still snowing as we speak. 63 snowfall records & 115 low temp records were set in the month of October across the U.S. This cold has spared the West Coast up until this past weekend but no longer. Temps were recorded as low as -20 in parts of the Sierra & Western Nevada last night. Another shot of Arctic air will follow the Thursday night storm with what the NWS is calling the coldest air in a few years with lows down in the single digits in Seattle and Portland and well below zero in the Sierras.

It will warm a little on Sunday but still below normal ahead of the next storm with cold behind this one as well. The ridge may back up to 160w by Wed.(Christmas Eve.). This would put us more in line with the upslope of the trough instead of the downslope. This could allow a subtropical tap to be established adding tons of moisture into the storms that follow. This was discussed before as an option to us having some big storms Jan-Mar. Here is what Ed Berry had to say in his most recent discussion. "Speculation suggests a rendition of our La-Nina like state will continue through at least JFM, but with situations having anomalous subtropical jets and possibly even episodes of strong East Asian/North Pacific Ocean jets slamming the USA west coast." The only thing we have to watch with this situation is that the snow levels tend to be higher with the subtropical feed. Snow levels will be closer to 6000 ft. starting on Christmas. There is still tons of cold air coming down from the north during this period, so as of right now it looks like all snow for us, and LOTS of it. We may be stuck in this pattern into the New Year which is what the models suggest at this time as well.

Looking at Liquid amounts for the next few storms. Thursday night shows .5-.75 at the lake and 1-1.25 on the crest. This may go up if the storm can get a feed from another storm just off the coast. Snow ratios again will be close to 20:1 so will go with 10-15 inches in town, 15-20 up high and 20-25 along the Western Crest. Sunday nights storm is looking more moist with near 2 inches of liquid but with lower snow ratios of 10:1 going to 15:1. this would be another 2 feet or more for everyone. Christmas Eve storm (which may last several days) looks very impressive right now with 3 mor inches of liquid just by Christmas Morning. If it stay all snow that is another 2-3 feet with snow continuing. So right now there is the potential for 4-5 feet by Christmas Day with 6-7 feet along the Crest. Just to our South from Sierra at Tahoe down to Mono County there is a "Bulls Eye" of 8-10 inches of liquid over the next week which equates to over 100 inches of snow.

I am not making this stuff up, these are my conservative numbers given the pattern and how the models are handling the storms at this time. Looks like maybe a short break Christmas weekend before another cold shot with more snow the following week, another short break, then more cold and snow. I will do an update of snowfall potential on tomorrow nights storm in the morning. Hope you have a good stock of wax. BA


Anonymous said...

Thats awesome! although it would be nice if that 8-10" inch "Bullseye" would come up to north Lake Tahoe, but we can't get too greedy (or can we???).
Thanks for the update, loved how you went from 1-2ft to 2-4ft to 4-6ft.. then 100"!! Very Nice!

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