Friday, December 19, 2008

No Need to Dream of a White Christmas......

What a difference a week can make! This time last week I was looking at a cam on top of the mountain and all I saw was dirt. As of this morning Northstar is reporting 9” overnight bringing the 7 day total just a couple inches short of 5 feet. We are well on our way to the over 100” December.

Storm coming down the coast last night was supposed to come down as far as the Wahsington/Oregon border and tap into some moisture sitting off the CA coast. Storm only came down as far as the Canadian border and then headed inland. Temps also didn’t get as cold as they would have because the storm didn’t come further south with the cold air. Snow ratios were closer to 15:1 than 20:1. These two factors made most locations end up about 5-10 inches less than what I was thinking. Will have to see the grand totals tomorrow morning. Up along the crest most locations reported over a foot so it was still a good storm.

Will not be as cold tonight as was thought before but should still get down near zero. Tomorrow is a sunny day with a high near 32 and lighter winds. Next storm comes in for Sunday afternoon into Monday. Liquid is looking to be 1.5-2 inches with this storm as it has a track more over water than the last few and will gather more moisture, but will be quick moving. Same amount of liquid as Monday’s storm but temps will be near freezing so snow ratios will be closer to 10:1. This would translate to 15-20 inches with a little more along the crest.

Tuesday looks like a little break before the next storm arrives. It was looking as if the ridge would retrograde back to 160w and the storm would tap subtropical moisture and really give us the hose with 6-8 inches of liquid. Bad news when we get that sort of connection is the snow levels rise. Yesterday the models showed the snow levels rising to 7500 ft. by Wed. night. Since last night the models have been showing the ridge holding at 150w and the storms coming down more from Alaska and hence being colder and snow levels staying below 6000 ft. This also makes them drier but still very moist because of their over-water trajectory. Models spreads for precip today have been wide showing anywhere from 1-4.5 inches of total liquid with around 10:1 snow to water ratios. This means anywhere from 10-45 inches from this storm with about a foot more along the crest. Will have to monitor this over the weekend and hopefully get a better idea of amounts. The storm would last into Friday before finally clearing out.

Christmas weekend looks sunny again then several more cold storms could dump on us New Year’s week before another sunny New Year’s weekend. I can’t think of a better pattern. Will continue to update snowfall predictions each day. BA

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