A Dusting By Tahoe Standards Tuesday-What Will the Rest of March Bring?

A Dusting By Tahoe Standards Tuesday-What Will the Rest of March Bring?


A Dusting By Tahoe Standards Tuesday-What Will the Rest of March Bring?


It felt like spring outside today but big changes are coming as a cold front will make it feel like Winter again on Tuesday.  Highs in the 50’s will be replaced by highs in the 20’s and 30’s on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The cold front will bring a quick hitting band of snow through the Tahoe Basin Tuesday morning.  Right now it looks like 1-3 inches at lake level, 3-6 inches above 7000 ft., and 4-8 inches possible along the crest by Wednesday afternoon.  Just a dusting to refresh the slopes.

Here is snowfall forecast off the GFS forecast model.

Then we have another break Wed-Fri with temperatures rebounding back into the 40s.  The next storm moving across the Pacific will impact the Pacific NW next Saturday.  This system looks like it will stay to the North bringing maybe some clouds and wind.

It looks like the Saturday storm will flatten the ridge as the upstream ridge sets up out around 160-170w Northwest of Hawaii.  This will setup a trough off the West coast.  That pattern would bring a series of storms into the West Coast, some possibly pulling in a lot moisture.  The forecast models have been in good agreement and remarkably consistent the past couple of days for over a week out.  The question right now is how far South does the trough setup?  Will Tahoe see a series of light snowfall events or a week fully of several storms piling up in feet?

Here is the current precipitation forecast for week 2 off the European ensembles which is about middle of of the road among the model solutions right now.

This model run shows enough precip for  3-4 feet of snow.  It’s too early to start talking about snowfall forecasts for next week, especially since the storms could stay to our North.  I don’t like to put out a snowfall forecast for a storm until within 5 days of the storm, but the forecast models are increasing confidence we could see a stormy pattern next week

The Central and Eastern parts of the country are going to have a heat wave next week with ridging sitting over a lot of the country.  A lot of times a pattern like that means the trough will be hanging around the West Coast for a while.  The 6-10 day precip forecast from the CPC agrees that Tahoe will be right on the edge of the above normal precip area.  Most of the Winter Tahoe has been in the brown below average zone.

Here is the 8-14 day outlook.

Looking at the CFS V2 long-range climate model it also suggests above average precip for Northern CA.  Here is the week 3 and week 4 outlooks through April 1st.  Take these with a grain of salt as they are off the new experimental model.

Will we have a miracle March?  The way this season has gone so far I wouldn’t put my money on it.  But the forecast models are seeing something in the long-range pattern for them to suggest that we could see above average precipitation.  We would love to see some big snowfall this month but it would be nice to at least see several storms with enough snow to keep the snowpack decent and skiable terrain fully open.  BA

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