Once that storm exits on Saturday, a ridge of high pressure should keep the weather calm and the skies clearing into the weekend. A series of storms pushing through the Pacific Northwest will try to make it over the ridge, but at this point they appear likely to bring Tahoe only some clouds and perhaps some light showers on Monday and maybe Thursday. The next real winter storm that looks possible in the forecast models is for the second weekend in January, but that’s too far out to bank on.
For now, stay safe on New Years Eve as this storm moves in, and enjoy the bluster on New Years Day. It might be a good one to stay inside and watch some football, unless you are partial to warm storms, wind and wet snow….
Check http://www.tahoeloco.com for updates as this storm arrives, and for the first word on what’s coming over the horizon.
El Nino Watch
ninoThe El Nino condition that has been present in the subtropical Pacific since last summer just keeps getting stronger, with sensors recording the greatest variation above average for sea surface temperatures this year in the final full week of December. Temperatures in the central sub-tropic region that is the key El Nino indicator rose another tick to 1.9 degrees Celsius above average. That’s well into the range considered a “strong” El Nino event if maintained for three consecutive months. The graphic above shows the trend for 2009, with an initial surge, then a lull in late summer and a renewed increase in temperatures this fall and early winter. Forecasters at the US Climate Prediction Center and elsewhere still expect the El Nino condition to last at least until spring and bring greater than average precipitation to Southern California in the latter half of the winter, and below average precip in the Pacific Northwest. Tahoe sits between those two extremes and its weather will depend on how far north those big southern storms come. Typically, San Francisco, Sacramento and Tahoe get above average precipitation in a strong El Nino year.