Monday, February 9, 2009

Jan. Re-cap/Here Comes Winter!

I was so into the upcoming pattern that I completely forgot to do the Jan. re-cap the first of Feb, so here it is followed by the usual weather discussion.

Once again these stats are from the Truckee airport. We ended up 1.5 degrees below normal for the average temp. That may be surprising with all the sun but it was still cold. We have been below normal for the avg. temp. 8 out of the last 10 years, netting -21 degrees & averaging 2.1 degrees below avg. the past 10 Januarys. As of Feb. 1st the snowpack was 63% of Feb. 1st avg., this time last year we were at 124% of Feb. 1st avg. Don’t worry I think we will be ahead of March 1st avg.! Total precip. was 1” which is only 19% of average. The Tahoe Basin as a whole averaged 45% of normal Jan. precip. That puts us at around 73% of average on the water year which starts in September. Northstar ended up about 1 foot shy of the halfway mark to their seasonal avg. of 350” and the crest about 3 feet short. Those numbers obviously less with the 2-3 feet over the past week.

Onto the storms………Cold storm still on it’s way to arrive sometime Tuesday night and last into Thursday. There should be a wave of heavier snow ahead of the storm Tuesday night and another heavier wave Wed. night. Should see around 4-8 inches Tuesday night with 2-4 inches during the day Wed. Then another 6-12 inches Wed. night into Thurs. This should give us a storm total of 1-2 feet by Thursday morning.

Another storm arrive for Friday. This storm is looking wetter each model run. Could see over a foot of additional snow by Saturday. Yet another storm arrives on Sunday with another foot possible for a storm total of 3-4 feet by Monday.

An interesting pattern sets up for next week, as previously detailed in Sunday’s post “Three Storms Three Feet”. The position of the ridges and troughs could connect perfectly to set up a feed of moisture that would bring in BIG storms for next week. One storm around Tuesday and another around Friday. These storms could produce multiple feet each. There will not be much of a break in the snow after tomorrow. The one thing we will have to watch for is exactly where the moisture comes from feeding these storms. We don’t want too much sub-tropical moisture which would raise snow levels.

Let’s just concentrate on the three cold storms affecting us until then. BA


Tim said...

Hi BA,

Would it be too difficult to cite the sources for your numbers for snowpack percentages? Did you get them from Snotel sites or from NOAA's snowpack information?

I'm trying to learn how to use all the resources available but there are so many agencies out there that I get confused about who's actually collecting the date, reporting the data and then presenting it!

Thanks much!

BA said...

Yes, I grabbed the snowpack stats from NOAA's hydrologic outlook, which is issued jointly by the NWS & the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Our tax dollars hard at work!

Tim said...

Thanks BA, I appreciate it! Just wish I wasn't trapped in this cube in the Bay Area...