Wednesday, March 5, 2014

// // Leave a Comment

Another Storm! Wait, how high are the snow levels?!

Another storm will affect the Sierra tonight, but it is of the warm variety. Ridging over the West Coast will give way to a shortwave emerging from a larger trough in the Pacific and then traversing through the Pacific Northwest and the northern half of the Sierra tonight and tomorrow. This will bring mostly rain and some snow to the Sierra as the subtropical connection is strong.

Precipitable water (in) valid tonight. The shortwave has a strong moisture connection with the Pacific. 

The precipitation will begin to fall tonight with the heaviest between 10pm and 4am. The snow level will start out around 9000' and be there during the heaviest precipitation. The snow level falls tomorrow morning to 7000-8000' and finally to lake level and below in the afternoon. However, the precipitation will be light in the afternoon with almost all of it coming before noon tomorrow.

Snowfall totals:
Above 9000': 6-10"
8000-9000': 3-6"
Below 8000': 1-3"

24-hour precipitation totals valid tomorrow evening. Expecting 0.5-1.5" for most of the Sierra high country.

Since we are on the warm/southern side of the jet, it will limit spillover. This means the highest totals will be near the crest and diminishing further east, although the higher terrain around Mt. Rose will help out totals.  It looks like Kirkwood might win the snowfall total crown again with this storm due to its location and elevation, but it will be close.

9000-10,000' heights, winds, and temperatures. Temperatures will be just below freezing at this level during the heaviest precipitation tonight. Also strong winds will begin later today and continue tomorrow.

Also another effect from being on the warm/southern side of the jet is the strong winds. Winds will be 40-55 mph sustained with gusts exceeding 70 mph tonight and into tomorrow along the ridge tops especially along and east of the crest. So expect some wind holds or closures tomorrow.

Well it is March and so these higher snow level storms are more prevalent. The problem is, we had more of these earlier in the year due in part of the drought feedback. However, we will take what we can get in terms of moisture (and snow) to help mitigate the drought. So head for the higher elevations Thursday (winds permitting) and Friday.

We do have another storm coming Sunday, but that also looks to have higher snow levels as the stubborn ridge hangs around.


Post a Comment