Tahoe Watches as Storms Hit to the North

Tahoe Watches as Storms Hit to the North


Tahoe Watches as Storms Hit to the North


Tahoe is in desperate need of some snow as the storms continue to go everywhere but Central CA.  The Pacific NW, Northern Rockies, and Northeast will finally start to catch up this week but Tahoe is still being left out.  The forecast for the next 10 days keeps the ridge off the coast of CA but further South than it has been. This will open up the storm door to the Pacific NW. Here is the precip map for the next 7 days from the Euro today.


You can see that the pattern is changing as the areas over the Southwest that have been getting all the snow will now be dry and the Pacific NW will get a lot of rain and mountain snow. That will keep the cities of Seattle and Salem from breaking all-time low precip records from December as they get hit the last week of the month. But as you can see it’s the typical weak/moderate La Nina pattern where Tahoe is right on the edge.

As the storms move by to the North this week the mountains above 7000 ft. could pick up a few snow showers on Wednesday and Friday but I’m not expecting more than a dusting on the mountains if anything. The ridge will shift out further West in the Pacific around the 1st and then the 5th of January to the North of Hawaii before quickly shifting back off the coast. This will allow the storms for the 2nd and 7th to shift further South which we have been watching for since it showed up last week. Right now though the brunt of the storms still look to stay North of the area with only light amounts of snow.

We will have to watch the first week of January to see if we can get the storms to shift further South, but for right now it’s a +PNA pattern still which correlates with a ridge and dry conditions for CA.  In a La Nina a -PNA pattern is more typical but it is not showing up yet in the forecasts and until then I would expect the chances of a big storm to stay low.  Another factor that may not have helped this month is the position of the convection with the MJO.  It was strong and progressing toward the Western Pacific at the beginning of the month and then just stopped at the edge of phase 5 in the Maritime Continent and has been sitting there all month.

That is not in a good position for bringing snow to Tahoe as we would like to see it progress East into the Western Pacific.  It is forecasted to start moving again towards and through the Pacific over the next 2 weeks. The convection moving into the Western Pacific could mean the ridge beginning to retrograde back towards Hawaii the first week of January allowing storms to dig further South. The MJO tends to have a bigger affect on the pattern during a weak/moderate La Nina.

So the bad news is that there are still no big storms showing up in the long-range forecast, but the good news is that the pattern is changing to more of a La Nina pattern with the jet stream hitting just to the North. Now we just need to get rid of the ridge off the coast so the jet stream and storms can push further South.  We will continue to watch for the PNA to go negative and for anything else that will help to get the storms into Tahoe.  Hopefully some better news next week.  BA

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