Two more days of sun and highs in the 20's today and tomorrow before the clouds increase on Thursday as the next storm tracks down the West coast. With the ridge in the North Pacific driving air down from the North this storm will bring some of the coldest air of the season, especially during a snowstorm. This storm reminds me of the Christmas Eve storm in 2008 where we don't have a lot of moisture to work with, but with extremely high snow:water ratios we will see significant snowfall.
The snow should begin Thursday night and last through Friday night bringing 1-2 inches of liquid. To narrow it a little more let's go with 1.25-1.75 inches of liquid. Temps will be in teens Thursday night & even Friday above 7000 ft., and then the single digits Friday night. Snow ratios will be between 15:1 & 30:1 throughout the storm, but let's take an average of 20:1 at lake level and 25:1 above 7000 ft. Multiply that by the liquid and we should see snow totals of 1.5-3 feet in the Village, with 2.5-4 feet on the mountain. If you thought the snow quality was amazing last week wait until this Friday & Saturday.
There are a couple of discrepencies in the models on how fast the storm moves out on Saturday & how much moisture it can pull from moisture coming under the ridge. Some models have us clearing out by morning and other have the snow lasting through the day on Saturday. The fastest models with a limited moisture tap put us at the lower end of the forecasted snowfall and the slowest models with the biggest moisture tap could add another 6-12 inches to the forecasted totals. Will have to watch this closely over the next day or two.
Looking at next week the forecast over the past two weeks of the ridge setting up further West again near the Aleutian Islands is being shown by the models. Another low will work its way down the coast the beginning of next week while a storm comes under the ridge in the North Pacific. It looks as if the low will pull the storm into the West coast by Tuesday or Wednesday. This storm would be quite strong with a subtropical tap and cold air filtering in from the low to the North. We will be talking normal snow ratios of 10-12:1 but still see significant snow due to the amount of liquid.
This pattern looks as if it could continue with a ridge near the Aleutians, lows coming down its East side from the North Pacific down the West Coast, and moisture coming underneath the ridge and into the West Coast. It could be the perfect pattern for big snowstorms next week and the week after. Things can always change in the long-range, but looking at the teleconnections there is nothing yet to suggest the storm door closing. We may just have to wait for the jetstream to weaken as we go into spring. I told you the 10 feet last week was just the beginning. BA