Monday, April 21, 2014

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Mother Nature pulls a Lee Corso on us and says NOT SO FAST! to summer. The next 7 to 10 days will be a reminder that it is still spring. MJO is in an active phase for the west coast, PNA is in a somewhat favorable phase, and AO is more favorable than unfavorable, which all together leads to stormy weather.

 Mother Nature pulling a Lee Corso and saying, 'NOT SO FAST!' for summer weather.

The first storm will impact the Sierra tonight and tomorrow, dropping 0.1-0.5" of precipitation and 1-3" of snow. It will get cold with snow levels dropping below lake level tomorrow. The next storm beginning Thursday evening and lasting through Saturday will be stronger and drop 0.5-1.5" of precipitation and 4-8" of snow with some high elevations areas possibly reaching 1". That is a little further out, so we will keep monitoring the storm for any changes.

HPC 5-day precipitation forecast. 0.5-2" across the Sierra.

 9-10,000' winds, temperatures, and heights. Will get cold tomorrow and again late this week. 

Now you may ask how rare is this? Well after digging around with the help of WRCC data, I found that it is not that rare. Looking at the last 15 days of April since 1960 the Central Sierra Snow Lab (~7000' near Soda Springs) has had 294 days with precipitation and 197 days with snow. The average precipitation per day was 0.15" and average snowfall per day was 1.18". The average snow depth for the 2nd half of April was 63" or just over 5'. The average maximum temperature was 47 degrees and minimum temperature was 25 degrees.

So, about 1 out of every 3 days during the 2nd half of April has precipitation and 1 in 4 days has snow. Compare this to Reno for the same period and only 1% of days saw snow and 4% of days recorded precipitation.

Bottom line is, this is pretty normal and we should be happy because it will slow the decline of the snowpack and extend spring skiing/snowboarding just a bit longer. We will have another post up mid-week getting more into the specifics of the late week storm.


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