Alpine Weather: April Powder Alert!

0 Comments 06 April 2011

We have an unseasonably cold storm moving in tonight that is going to bring really cold air and up to 2 feet of fluffy powder to the mountain.  

There is a cold area of low pressure off the coast of British Columbia this morning that is working its way South down the coast.  Winds will pick up today and temperatures will begin to cool as the storm approaches.

The snow should start falling by midnight with the heaviest snow Thursday morning as the cold front pushes through.  Snow showers will continue behind the front into Thursday night.

Models have be showing more moisture associated with the storm over the past few days.  They now have up to 1 inch of liquid along the Sierra crest which is over Alpine.  We should pick up around a foot at the base and up to 2 feet on top by the Friday morning snow report.

With highs in the teens and 20′s on the mountain tomorrow the snow ratios will be high and the snow will be very light and powdery.  This is going to make for mid-winter style powder here in April.  Scattered snow showers could linger into Friday as the main core of the cold low pressure passes through the area. 

We dry out and warm a little over the weekend back into the 40′s as a brief ridge moves in.  There is another weak storm that is going to push through on Monday but it has been trending North of us.  We should only pick up some light snow showers at best and slightly cooler temperatures on Monday.

Then another brief ridge moves in on Tuesday & Wednesday with nice weather as the pattern in the Pacific undergoes a shift.  We are going to have retrogression of the ridge of high pressure out in the Pacific to just South of the Aleutian islands and a low pressure that is going to setup in the Northeast Pacific.  This is the pattern that has brought us some of our big snow weeks this winter.  The difference this time is that the jetstream is weaker since we are in spring. 

Still, we could have a chance of decent cold storm next Thursday followed by several waves rotating into the coast for about a week.  Right now the models have the storm track just to our North after the Thursday storm.  We may just have a week of being brushed by the storms with light amounts of snow and cooler temperatures. 

If the low in the Northeast Pacific sets up a littel further South and the trough is deeper down the West coast then we could accumulate some decent snow total for April over the period.  We are going to have to watch how everything comes together over the next week, but just know that the ingredients are there for one last snowy period at mid-month.  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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