Saturday, March 6, 2010

Feb Recap/March Recovery?

With a storm off the Southern CA coast, clouds and cold air will be around today and start to clear out tomorrow. With a break in the weather action it is a good time for the Feb. recap. The data used in the recaps comes from the NWS and from the Truckee airport reporting station.

February was a cool dry month with .7 degrees below average temps & 69% of average precip. The Tahoe basin is now 86% average snowpack as compared to 71% this time last year, and 87% of average precip on the water year since September. We are doing better than the last 3 years, but still not good enough to start recovering from the drought as we are once again below average. March and April do have the potential to get us above average.

In El Nino years March and April can be really wet months. After crashing at the beginning of February El Nino has leveled off and still sitting in the moderate range. Because of lots of cold air pouring into the country this winter and lots of blocking over the East we really have only seen the El Nino jetstream crash into CA a couple of times. It looks as if this week could be the final week of blocking before spring kicks in over the East and El Nino has a better chance of bringing us storms.

This week will feature more of a La Nina type of pattern with storms hitting the Pacific NW and brushing us on the Southern end. Another cold front with drop high temps on the mountains into the 20's Monday & Tuesday with a chance of light snowfall Monday night as it moves through. Another storm for wednesday will stay to our North as a ridge builds in over CA Wed-Fri. Next shot at measurable snow will be a storm moving in next Saturday and then another for the following Tuesday. These will be cold storms coming in from the North.

Going into the 3rd week of March it still looks as if the Southern jetstream is going to try to slam into CA with a prolonged period of storms. This looks to begin around the 20th. This may end up being a winter that tries to hold on right through the end of the ski season.

For those of you who love summer, this pattern is one that will flip right into a warmer than average temps as soon as the storms end. BA

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