Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Temporarily on Hold.......

Northstar picked up another 18 inches in the past 24 hours bringing the weekend storm total to over 4 feet up top and the 8 day total to 8 feet. Northstar is now at 564 inches on the season which is 161% of the annual average. We could possibly break 600 inches by this time next Monday which is crazy. This could be the biggest winter since 1982-83 and after that we have to go back to 1951-52.

Snow showers are fizzling out this morning in the basin and are confined mainly along the crest. The snow showers should continue through most of the day & into the evening with the moist flow off the Pacific. Only expecting a few inches of accumulation on the mountain today at best, may even see some sun.

Finally a short break on Tuesday before the next cold storm quickly dives in by Tuesday night. This storm lasts through Wednesday and the next stronger storms moves in on Thursday and lasts throug Friday. A break Saturday before another storm on Sunday into Monday. Over this period we will once again receive several feet of snow.

I have been crunching numbers this morning to try and break down individual storm totals this week. The 0z Euro and 6z GFS are pretty close in total liquid for each storm and both have a 5 day total of 3-4 inches of liquid. This last storm cycle I took an average temperature forecast of the period highs & lows and then came up with an average snow ratio. That seemed to work pretty well in forecasting the snow totals. Will do that again with this upcoming storm cycle.

On the mountain will go with an average of 15:1 ratios and around 10:1 in the Village. Models showing .75-1.25 inches of liquid with the Wednesday storm which is 6-12 inches in the Village and 12-20 inches on the mountain. For Thu-Fri 1-1.75 inches of liquid is 10-15 inches in the Village and 15-25 inches on the mountain. Sunday storm could bring .5-1.0 inches of liquid which would be another 5-10 inches in the Village and 10-15 inches on the mountain.

That would make a 5 day total of 2-3 feet in the Village and 3-5 feet on the mountain by Monday. Of note is that the 0z GFS and some previous model runs were stronger with the Thursday storm possibly bringing a foot more with that storm. Will have to watch the models today to see the trend. Either way we are going to add several more feet and it looks like enough snow to push Northstar over 600 inches.

The ridge in the Central Pacific, that is responsible for the trough along the West coast this week with cold and snow, will shift to the East Pacific off our coast next week. That will block storms to our North all week and give us a break to clean up from all the snow. Expecting beautiful weather next week with an unbelievable spring snowpack.

Long-Range models (which are not as accurate during season changes) are showing the possibility of the ridge re-emerging in the Central Pacific by the first weekend in April. Will have to see how amplified that ridge becomes because that will determine how deep the trough is along the West coast. Right now the potential is there for a return to cold storms. Stay tuned.....BA

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