Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fast and Hard.....

That was a fast moving storm, but it snowed hard! It only snowed for about 4-5 hours yesterday afternoon, but we pretty much nailed the snow forecast. Got 7 inches here at my house on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, and Northstar is reporting 8 inches at the base lodge.  No report from the top, but I am guessing 10 inches since it is usually a couple inches more.  I  was up at mid mountain last night around 5 and the snow guns were already blasting snow on top of what had fallen.  Today Northstar opens, and it should be the best opening day conditions in at least several years. I can't remember the last time Northstar had 6 trails open on opening day.  They are claiming it's the best opening conditions since 1994.

Today will stay cold in the 30's and another storm moves into the Pacific NW tonight. Tomorrow we may see a few snow showers as the storm brushes by to our North, but we shouldn't get more than a dusting.

The ridge builds in starting Sunday for a week of quiet weather. The temps should stay cool in the 40's with temps in the 50's at the Lake Wed. and Thanksgiving Day. Inversions will develop starting Monday so temps at night will be in the low 20's in the valleys and near freezing around 7500 ft. This may limit snowmaking to the bottom half of the mountain.

The pattern going into the first week of December will feature a positive PNA, a negative NOA, and a negative AO. This would support shots of cold air coming into the country and a trough locking in over the East as a ridge sits off the West Coast. Normally this would mean we are stuck in a dry pattern, but with El Nino and the MJO progressing Eastward, a typical El Nino pattern of a split jetstream is going to want to form. Several of the model runs have been suggesting this scenario as well.

A ridge is going to try and build into the areas that have been getting hammered the past month by snow, from the Pacific NW up into British Columbia. The Southern branch of the jetstream would then come under the ridge and hammer Central and Southern CA. Only problem is that we are in Northern CA. That is why we are 50/50 above and below avg. precip in El Nino years. We are right on the Northern edge of the storm track. Let's hope that if this pattern does develop going into Dec. that the storm track is far enough North to put us under the gun. BA

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