Monday, March 3, 2014

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Mini-Storm Week

Well the pattern as promised has stayed active, and it looks like those storms are and will impact the Sierra this week. The first storm is occurring today/tonight, and the second one will hit late Wednesday and into Thursday. Neither storm will drop that much snow and snow levels will be high, but a couple of small refreshers are always welcome.

NOAA HPC 72-hour forecasted precipitation. The Sierra will receive 1-2" of precipitation over the next 72 hours, although much of it will be rain

Expect 3-6" of snow above 7000' by tomorrow morning with highest totals closer to the crest. For Thursday, the snow levels will be higher closer to 8000', but will fall during the latter half of the storm. The snowfall totals for this storm are tougher to forecast, but for now we are forecasting at least 3-6" above 8000'. Confidence in the 2nd storm's forecast is moderate right now. 

24-hour forecasted precipitation via CEFA-CANSAC WRF. Forecasted precipitation for the Sierra and around Tahoe is 0.25-1"

Two shortwaves are passing just to our north this week, which means a few things: 1) snow, but not a lot; 2) wind; and 3) higher snow levels. The models have been bouncing back and forth for the last few days with these storms so getting a handle on them has been difficult.

 Precipitable Water for this evening. Excellent subtropical moisture connection that will provide ample moisture for today/tonight's storm

Some model runs have pushed the storms to our north, and some have pushed them a little further south. Either way, we knew if the storms were going to affect the Sierra and Tahoe, that we would be on the southern half of the storms. Both storms will have a good subtropical moisture connection, which will provide ample moisture, but also keep the snow levels elevated.

Mid-level heights, temperatures, and winds for today/tonight's storm. A weak shortwave will mean higher snow levels and weaker lifting which means most of the precipitation will come from orographic lifting.

So we have two mini-storms to look forward to so if you can take a couple of mornings off this week (probably tomorrow and Thursday/Friday) go out and enjoy some turns. The second storm will be windy so lift slowdowns/closures are possible Wednesday and Thursday.


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