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miracle march?

By ccrossen | February 16, 2010

Mid-February, and while the skiing is still great – pow, chalky, corn, carveable steeps, and some breakable crust, we haven’t had a major storm in about three weeks. That’s a long time during the dead of winter. The good news is the weather and skiing are beautiful right now, and the better news is that the big weather pattern looks like its going to shift to a much stormier cycle beginning this weekend. It also looks like the storms may extend out for a bit, bringing a fair amount of snow. But get out there while you can because the snow is great, and the weather’s mild, perfect for long tours or full days at the resort. I’ve had some great tours lately, finding way more pow than expected.

Some more on the long-term weather picture from TWD.

Starting the end of this week the pattern is going to do both in that order. The ridge is going to shift North allowing a low off the coast of CA to send waves of moisture into CA over the weekend. The ridge shifting North may also allow the cold over the East to shift West as well bringing us much colder air along with the snow. The storms don’t look all that strong but with the cold air and 3-4 waves of moisture coming through in a 5 day period it may begin to pile up. Still have to watch the next couple of days to see where along the coast the low sets up as to where the heaviest precip will be. Either way it looks much colder with snow.

Next thing to look for is the blocking to weaken over the East. A sign of this is watching the NAO to see it go towards positive. Take a look here. Once the NAO is above -1 it is hard for the block to hold and the pattern should begin to progress going into the last week of Februray. Second sign that is good for storms to return to CA is for the PNA over the Pacific to go negative. This usually means less ridging along the West coast with a flatter jetstream into the West coast. Take a look here. The PNA is beginning to head negative and should be negative the last week of February.

Both of those factors should be enough to allow the El Nino jetstream to head back into CA, but there is a bonus on the table going into March. If we can keep the NAO positive and PNA negative we can add in the MJO. Take a look here. The MJO is forecasted to move back into the Western Pacific and strengthen over the next week. Usually the affects are an enhanced jetstream and storms into CA about a week later. The MJO looks to stay in the Western Pacific for about two weeks, so as the El Nino fades this will be the factor to look for to help our chances of stormy weather going into the first two weeks of March.

Everything is lining up for a stormy weather pattern to take over here and hopefully it lasts into March. Would love to see another March of 2006. The models are catching onto the idea of the stormy pattern returning as well. Take a look here. Notice how we start off small with some storms this weekend into Tuesday, but then the middle of next week into the first week of March the pattern gets flowing and big storms ride along the jetstream and slam into CA. These maps can change alot this far out, but they take a blend of models and at least we can see they are indicated a snowy pattern with several feet of snow.

Topics: Skiing, Tahoe Snow Report | No Comments »