The 2013- 2014 ski season has so far been abysmal for the Tahoe region. In fact, it has been almost a month since Tahoe has seen anything resembling a winter snow storm. And to make things worse it looks like no relief is in sight….
“While persistent, this pattern will eventually break down. This can occur under several scenarios. First, high pressure could shift northward and southerly lows could move south of the surface high pressure bringing moisture to southern California and the Southern to Central Sierra. Last season, this happened and brought a few weaker storms to the Southern and Central Sierra. A more permanent mode of breaking the ridge down would occur with the amplification of upper level flow in the central Pacific which requires a strong jet stream to pull colder Polar air southward.
We usually look for an initial wave to weaken the northern portion of the ridge, then stronger low pressure drops southeastward out of the Gulf of Alaska as the blocking ridge retreats into the tropics or begins to move eastward. Long range models do show the potential for a low pressure to weaken the northern portion the ridge by next week. However, these same models are notorious about breaking these persistent blocking patterns too soon. A more likely scenario will be that the northern portion of the ridge flattens a little allowing some moisture into the Pacific Northwest but not into the Sierra.” – US National Weather Service Reno Nevada