Alpine Weather: Series of Storms to Bring Multiple Feet

1 Comment 13 March 2011

We have a series of storms on the way starting Sunday night, and we will transition back into a colder pattern by the end of this week that could last a while.  As you can see in the 10 day precipitation map, there could be enough precip to bring 4-5 feet over the next 10 days.

We start Sunday Night with a fast moving storm that will bring 10-15 inches to the mountain.  Things should clear out pretty quickly on Monday with sun and a fresh blanket of powder and highs in the 30′s on the mountain.

Next storm is about 36 hours behind this one and ready to move in Tuesday night.  This storm is stronger and should bring a decent snowfall to the mountain.  Models are averaging enough liquid for 12-18 inches of snow on the mountain, with some models showing enough to bring us 2 feet.  This storm will last into the day on Wednesday before clearing out.

The storms over the past couple of weeks have been a little mild.  This is due to the location of the ridge up near Alaska leaving the Pacific wide open for storms to come across the middle and pick up warm moisture before hitting the Pacific NW.  We have been on the south side (warm side) of the storms where a weak cold front gets dragged through as the storms head east.  This storm pattern will change on Thursday.

A ridge will begin to build out around 150-160w and will expand northward.  This will begin to push the storms up towards Alaska and then down the West Coast.  The trough along the West Coast will dig deeper and that will bring a return of colder weather by this weekend and into the following week.  That means a return to highs in the 30′s on the mountain.

The first cold storm is arriving on Friday and could move slowly inland over the weekend.  Right now next weekend looks like a cold and snowy one.  Some models showing several inches in a snow-showery pattern and others, like the one in the picture, are showing several waves of moisture that could bring a couple of feet.

The colder pattern looks to continue into week two and beyond as the ridge stays out in the Western Pacific.  We should continue to see storms dropping down the West Coast into California.  The difference in March is that a cold pattern is highs in the 30′s & 40′s with a stronger sun as compared to the 20′s & 30′s with a weaker sun in previous months.  So when it’s not snowing it will still feel pretty nice outside.  The cooler temps will aid in keeping the above average snowpack in place into April.  BA

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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  1. yvonne says:

    Does this mean Alpine will stay open later this year?????? I hope so.

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