Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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STORM UPDATE: Still on track

Little has changed over the past 24 hours with regards to the snowfall forecast:
  • snow levels begin around 7,000-8,000'
  • snow levels fall rapidly down to lake level, and then down to valley floors (Reno) by the end of the event
  • 4-8" above 7,000' with locally higher amounts along the crest
  • 2-4" at lake level
  • a dusting to possibly an inch or two on the valley floors
  • heaviest snow will occur late Wednesday afternoon, into the evening
I wanted to make a few notes on the wind we will see with this storm.  It will definitely be windy at the ski resorts during the day Wednesday, and into the evening.  For Christmas day, there will be a cold north wind, but nothing that should cause any problems with lift operations.  It should be an excellent morning for some cold pow laps...but I'd also expect a bit of dust-on-crust with the recent warming.

From a meteorological perspective, the wind during the day on Wednesday looks quite impressive for the valley locations, including Reno.  This is caused by a strong pressure gradient, and associated cold frontal passage.  The figure below is showing the 10-m wind speed at 1:00 PM on Wednesday.  You could see that the valley locations may experience higher wind speed than the mountains during this time, with wind speed approaching 40-50 mph. 

(Source: CEFA/DRI) 

Thursday and Friday look to be great ski days, so get out there and enjoy some fresh snow.  We'll keep you posted if there are significant changes to the forecast in the next 24 hours (unlikely).


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