Alpine Weather: Winter returns with a vengeance

4 Comments 11 February 2011

Dust off the pontoons and set back your bindings because old man winter is returning starting Monday and he wants to make up for January.  By this time next week the high pressure ridge will be a distant memory as we are once again buried in fluffy powder along with cold temps.  A strong low pressure is going to move into the Northeast Pacific on Monday and push the ridge to our east.  This will allow moisture to rotate around the low and into California most of next week.

Snow could start falling on Alpine as early as Monday afternoon as moisture is drawn up ahead of the trough approaching the coast.  Snow will start off light and then increase in intensity as the jetstream approaches the area on Tuesday.  Tuesday night into Wednesday, the cold front moves through, bringing the heaviest snow of the week and drops temps into the teens and 20′s.  That will increase snow ratios to around 20:1 which means the snow will become very fluffy and start to pile up really fast.  By Thursday morning Alpine could have a storm total of around 2-4 feet.

The snowfall will become light and intermittent going into Thursday as we are in the wake of the cold front but still under a moist and unstable flow.  Models differ in opinion on the track & intensity of a second wave of moisture arriving later in the week.  Some want to take the moisture to our South and others bring another round of snow that could add a foot or more to the totals.  Either way the pattern looks to stay cold and unsettled into President’s Weekend.

Looking at ski week it appears that another strong low pressure may setup in the same position in the Northeast Pacific and we could see a repeat of cold and snow.  We are in a -PNA(Pacific North American) pattern now so any ridging should be brief and the storm door will remain open into the end of the month.  It’s going to look and feel a lot different around here next week.  I will update the storm details and snowfall totals as we get closer.

BA The Weather Guru - who has written 30 posts on Ski Alpine Meadows.
The Weather Guru specializes in long range storm forecasting and snowfall predictions for the Tahoe Basin. He studied meteorology at Kean University and has been tracking snowstorms for over 20 years. He considers himself a Hobbyist that is passionate about weather and obsessed with big snowstorms.

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4 Comments so far

  1. Paul Ortiz says:

    Happy to see you working for the good guys! Welcome to AM

  2. Alan Kozlowski says:

    You should compare notes with the weather geek at tahoeloco. Or are you him??

  3. Jeri Giuliano says:

    We are coming into town on Wed from Atlanta, GA. Is this going to be so crazy skiing is going to suffer? Also, could this affect flight coming into Reno on Wednesday?

  4. BA says:

    The snow should spill into Reno on Wednesday and may affect flights. The airport rarely gets much accumulation.

    Alan, no I am not the weather geek.

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