Monday, February 22, 2010

Down But Not Out......

What a crazy weather weekend. Northstar ended up with 5 inches of snow, but that was a bit less than expeceted as I don't think the Tahoe Basin could have had any worse luck.

What was supposed to happen: A storm moves in off the Pacific Friday night bringing us 6 inches of snow, then a cold front moves down from the North Saturday night bringing Reno 4 inches and Tahoe 6 more inches, then a third storm moves in off the Pacific Sunday night bringing another shot of 6 inches.

What actually happened: The cold front moves down from the North faster than expected pushing Friday night's storm just to our South, then the cold front stalls over Reno for 24 hours dropping over 2 feet of snow, then the cold front finally pushes South Sunday evening just in time to push the 2nd storm coming in off of the Pacific just to our South, and the cold front falls apart as it finally slides South bringing us only a few inches of snow.

Another weekend like that and I'm going to retire from weather forecasting. It was torture watching the snow band sit over Reno all weekend with reports of over 2 feet and trying to will the band South with mind power. You could see the snow from the top of Northstar on Sunday just sitting over Reno. What can Reno do with 2 feet of snow? It was the biggest snow event for them since the 4 feet they got around New Years 2005.

Next storm is already approaching the coast and will push snow into the area by Tuesday night. This storm is strong but also fast moving which will limit the big snows. Right now looking for 6-9 inches in the Village with 9-12 inches above 7000 ft. There is no cold front backing in from the Northeast to mess with this storm so confidence in snow totals is much higher. Snow showers will linger into Wednesday with a moist flow off of the Pacific.

After a break on Thursday the next storm is set to bring snow Friday into Saturday. This is a strong storm, but after the storm hits it looks as if the strongest part splits and dives into Southern CA. Still, we look to get over a foot of snow from this storm.

Going into the first week of March the models are struggling a bit. This week the PNA is going negative and the NAO almost neutral which has removed any blocking allowing the storms for this week to roll through. I think what the models are struggling with next week is the forecast for the PNA to bounce back towards positive and how the NAO to dip negative a bit. It doesn't look strong enough to me to form a strong block, but the models are back and forth between a storm every couple days inot CA, or a ridge building in and bumping the storms just to our North. One thing that is on our side is the the Arctic Oscillation is on a big upward swing towards positive. This will remove the big arctic outbreaks into the country that kept us dry in the beginning of January and February. One obstacle removed to help us in our quest for a big Miracle March with lots of snow. I will be looking hard at what is in store for March this week. Stay tuned.....BA

"Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves." Rudyard Kipling

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