Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bits & Pieces.......

Northstar picked up an inch of snow yesterday with the light snow showers that moved through. Right now we'll take it in bits & pieces.

The snowpack currently sits around 198% of average in the Tahoe Basin for this time of year. That is because of the 280 inches we saw in November and December and then the cold here the first 2 weeks of January. We will warm a little into the 40's for about 7 days and then and Arctic from will make its way in by next Wednesday. We have enough snow on the mountains to last for a long time especially without any big warmups. We didn't have this much snowfall to date until February the past 3 years and April in the 06/07 season.

I know you are all dying for the next big dump as the readership has gone up the past 2 days. That means we are at the point where everyone has had enough sun and is looking for any sign of snow. The ridge over Alaska is a bit too far North and there is a nice big ridge off the coast. That is keeping the storm train aimed at Washington and Oregon, with us on the Southern edge. Last week I was thinking that the block over Alaska may be a bit further South and would keep the storm track pushed further South. We will see the clouds and the chance of light snow again tomorrow night as another storm hits the Pacific NW. We could see the same again on Sunday.

Next week the rigde over Alaska is replaced by a trough which means cold for them but more ridging for us off the coast. There is still a ton of really cold Arctic air being displaced into the U.S. and that will happen again next week and should get far enough West to where we get cold by the middle of next week. The good news is that the NAO is positive now so the cold will not hold in the East and will slide off the coast. That means downstream we have some help in the pattern, now we just need some help upstream.

I have better news in the long term as the MJO continues to strengthen quite a bit as it begins to curve towards the Western Pacific. If it continues on course it is going to manipulate the entire pattern in the Pacific and eventually we will see a strong jetstream hit the West Coast by the end of the month. It may be worth it to wait 3 weeks to get a whole month's worth of precip in one week like we did in November and December. I'm sure that by the end of December you had all forgotten about the warm rains we had in the beginning of December, at least we don't have that.

The models have not yet caught onto the pattern change associated with the movement of the MJO. They should begin to over the next several days and that will make me feel better since I have been preaching its redemption since the beginning of the month. This is also the time where you need to do all the things that help it to snow like washing your cars and breaking your snowblowers. I just realized today that it has not snowed since I bought my friend a yard stick on January 2nd so that he could take measurments for me at his house. I told him today to please throw away the cursed yardstick. BA

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