Weather Forecast

Weekend Forecast for 1/24/2015 – 1/25/2015:

From Dan Tackett, Sugar Bowl National Ski Patrol Meteorologist Extraordinaire

Updated Thursday, January 22nd, 9:25 am

Greetings,

Discussion:
January continues to struggle on the snowfall front.  A minute trace of snowfall landed on the slopes last Friday morning, but nothing since.  The high pressure ridge was so stubborn last weekend, that even the clouds from a strong Pacific Northwest storm had a difficult time moving inland to the Sierra.  High clouds moved through on Tuesday and another batch is moving through Thursday, but that’s all the action we can muster.  The high pressure ridge will strengthen further on Friday, leading to a storm track that’s nowhere near California.

This weekend will have abundant sun, but conditions will be potentially breezy.  The strong high pressure ridge will generate easterly winds on Saturday that will be gusty at times on the ridges.  The easterly winds will still be hanging around Sunday morning, but will decrease through the day.  Highs temperatures will mostly be in the 40s on Saturday, possibly warming all the way into the mid 50s on Sunday as the winds die down.  Lows will generally be in the 30s.

Dry, mild and mostly sunny on Monday, followed by increasing clouds on Tuesday.  An unusual winter set up of subtropical moisture moving into the Desert Southwest will bring precipitation chances to the slopes mainly from the second half of Tuesday to the first half of Wednesday.  Since we’ll lie on the northern edge of the moisture, anything that reaches the mountain will be light.  With no cool air source available, snow levels will be running at or above 8000 feet, thus providing no help to the snowpack whatsoever.

After the threat of southern showers, the high pressure ridge returns to bring dry conditions that will likely last the rest of the week, and what’s left of January.  We marveled on how little snow fell last January, an accumulative total of 6-12 inches.  If we finish up our current January without snow, that will leave the brief trace of snow on the 16th as the month’s only snow event.  That will result in January 2015 having no measurable snow, an event that I cannot find happening before.  Even in past drought years, there were always a little bit that fell in January.  There is no way of knowing if dry Januarys are becoming a trend or just a temporary anomaly.

Sugar Bowl Snow Depths as of Wednesday afternoon, January 21st:
Station A (near the base of Crow’s Nest Chair): 6 inches.  Last year at this time: 3 inches.
Station B (between Calif St & Station B runs): 44 inches.  Last year at this time: 24 inches.
Current Truckee River Drainage Snowpack Water Equivalent:  40%

Weekend Forecast for 1/24/2015-1/25/2015:
Mostly sunny and breezy on Saturday.  Lows in the 30s, highs in the 40s to near 50.  Easterly winds to 20 mph, to 40 mph on the ridges.

Mostly sunny on Sunday.  Lows in the 30s, highs in the mid 40s to mid 50s.  Morning easterly winds to 20 mph, to 40 mph on the ridges, decreasing through the day.

Weekend Travel Weather:
With winter passing us by, weather related road conditions are not in the equation.

Extended:
A chance of light rain between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  Otherwise continued dry.

Have a Great Weekend,
Dan

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