January as we all know was a dry month and it also ended up cold overall thanks to the cold the first week of the month. The Tahoe Basin received 21% of average precip and the Truckee River Basin 14%. That came on the heels of an October of 400% of average and a December of 200% of average, so we are still at 150% of average to date on the water year 4 months in.
The snowpack report for Feb. 1st had us at 125% of average for this time of year. That is down from 200% of average on Jan. 1st, but that was the record for an early season snowpack. The cold in the beginning of January helped to keep the months average at 1.7 degrees below average. That aided in limiting the amount of melting that could have occured.
So the snowfall and snowpack are both above average still for this time in the season and we still have another half of a winter to go. That second half of winter should be starting by this time next weekend. No change in the models as the ridge still looks to setup in the Central Pacific opening the door to cold and snow next weekend and beyond.
By midweek we should be in a nice teleconnection pattern of -PNA, +NAO & +AO. The PNA(Pacific North American) is actually forecasted to go quite negative by the end of the month so we should not see any signs of the ridge pattern we saw in January for a while. Since we are starting the month above average for snowfall we only really need an average month Feb.-Apr. to have an above average season. Let's hope for a big season though. BA