Saturday, March 14, 2009

On the Fence, 5 p.m. Update....

A very challenging storm to forecast is approaching the area, & we will be on the fence between no snow to our South & lots of snow to our North. Clouds will increase today as the jetstream on the South side of a big storm hitting the Pac NW begins to dive into Northern CA. It is a battle between the storm to the North & the ridge to the South that the storm is tryin to crush, so if anything it is going to be a windy storm. Because of the battle, models are still trying to pinpoint exactly how far South the jet can push in order to increase precip over our area. Last night & this morning's models showed heavier precip making it in to the North-End of Lake Tahoe. Latest model run backs off slightly.

Light snow showers should move in overnight as moisture gets hung-up on the crest & only light amounts make it into the North Lake area. Snow levels starting out around 6000 ft. As the precip gets squeezed out along the crest & stable air remains over North lake, snow showers should remain light during the day Sunday. Snow levels should stay around 6000-6500 ft. As more favorable Southerly winds develop for Sun. night/Mon., the snow should pick-up in intensity & snow levels should raise slightly to around 6800 ft., basically snowing from the base lodge up on Northstar. The cold front will never really push thru, so snow levels will never crash down but should come down to lake level by Monday night, & the snow ratios will stay low giving us some thick snow. Snow could last into Tuesday morning before ending.

Total liquid on the latest GFS is now just .25-.5" over North Lake with about 1" on the crest. Showing more than earlier just North around Lassen, but slightly less on the crest, & less over North Lake. The NAM shows up to 1.5" over North Lake with up to 2" on the crest, but that is quite aggressive in my opinion. Definitely a sharp cut-off from North to South, so a slight shift can greatly affect snowfall totals. A shift back towards this morning's models would push us back towards 1 foot. If the latest model run holds that is around 3-6 inches above 7000 ft. by Tuesday morning, the bulk falling on Monday. Will have to watch this storm closely because totals could go up or down by a lot with slight shifts with a strong storm to the North & ridge to the South. Definitely much less snow in South Lake.

Starting Tuesday the ridge quickly shifts back North & East & pushes the storm track just to our North. The Pac NW & into far Northern CA will continue to get storms thru next week. We will be stuck in the sun with temps in the 40's on the mtn., 50's in town, possibly a bit warmer.

As the cut-off storm over Hawaii finally gets pulled Northward by storms to it's North, the ridge will be able to retrograde Westward towards the end of the week. This could lead to some storms for next weekend. Today's models continue to show a chance at some decent snow for next weekend into early the following week.

Storm activity could last off & on the last week of the month with the ridge back over the Central Pacific. Storminess for the Pac NW looks to continue into the first half of April, giving the chance for it to occasionally bring storms to Tahoe. BA


Anonymous said...

Keep us posted on this storm. Lots of spring breakers headed to Northstar this week

BA said...

will do.

Cabana Girl said...

Yay Spring break! I will serve you strong drinks as long as you're 21!