Tahoe - Thursday March 6, 2014 - A "dirty" high pressure ridge continues to allow slugs of moisture and weak upper-level weather disturbances from offshore to pass through at times, dropping fairly insignificant showers with higher than usual snow levels, through most of this week. By the weekend, storms are deflected further north with a stronger ridge of high pressure over the western US, for mostly sunny skies.
Please see our 1-2+ week long range outlook toward the bottom of this page.
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7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 12 to 22 March, 2014 - High pressure ridging aloft remains mostly dominant across the west through Sunday, aside from storms affecting the northwest US, and carrying snow-level issues. Between the 10th and 15th we start seeing some Pacific storms move in by riding up and over a southwest US high pressure ridge, and northern California being on the north side of this ridge, we expect some showers at times all next week, but mostly higher than usual snow levels. After this time (after or even just before the 15th), high pressure ridging over the southwest should break down, and stronger-more moist (and colder) Pacific storms then move in affecting areas all across the west, including drought parched California and Tahoe-Mammoth. CM
Longer Range Outlook
As of now, March 2014, we are continuing to be affected by an ENSO-Neutral, or La Nada Sea Surface Temperature pattern across the Equatorial Eastern Pacific (SSTs near to slightly below average).
The larger time-scale SST pattern in place right now is a cool phase PDO, or negative PDO, which stands for Pacific Decadal Oscillation. This is a more long term pattern (decades), and it has made any recent years El Nino SST patterns weaker.
We expect the ENSO Neutral, or La Nada pattern (almost a La Nina) to continue, and in the last 30 days we have seen more of a La Nina pattern develop with colder SST's along the eastern Equatorial Pacific and even the region 3.4 always referred to, though less so in 3.4. We are not seeing the trend toward El Nino yet.
Since we are seeing an actual cooling of the eastern Equatorial Pacific in the last month, and not much change in the 3.4 region, we expect this to not bode well for a shift out of a La Nada pattern, yet. If we start to see warming in the region mentioned, then we expect a potential strengthening jet stream across the Pacific, and increased moisture in general for Pacific storms as they move in more directly off the Pacific (we already got a taste of this with recent very strong but snow-level challenged storms). More of these may move in mainly after the 15th and affect all areas of the west, but for now these Pacific storms mainly affect the northwest US and northern Rocky Mountains, plus Colorado (as the southwest US ridge of high pressure continues, again next week). We will keep this outlook updated as more information becomes available. If you want to know when the snow is coming (and be able to set unlimited alerts for any resort), within 5 minutes or less of us (our our sources) entering the data into any of our forecasts, be sure to download the app.
The closest major family resort to the Bay Area and Sacramento, Sierra-at-Tahoe is Lake Tahoe's best-kept secret. The resort's North facing location keeps the snow in great condition for days and with a variety of terrain to choose from the entire family or group of friends can find something to cater toward their ability. Sierra is one of the only resorts that offers beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain all accessible from the summit lift, allowing groups to ride together while still enjoying the runs they want to hit. Five backcountry gates keep expert skiers entertained for hours and give breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe along with quite, uncrowded lines you can't find at other resorts. With new terrain park features, access to backcountry terrain, and new adventure parks for kids, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort has something to offer everyone. Sierra-at-Tahoe is Northern California's home away from home. At this resort, guests are greeted by name and treated like family. Located on Highway 50, Sierra is the closest major snowsports resort to San Francisco and Sacramento, yet it's just a stone's throw away from the glitz of South Lake Tahoe and a multitude of hotel and casino lodging options. Convenience, value and great service are just a few of the words that summarize Sierra. Another asset is the location of its slopes, which are wind-protected and cradle the fresh powder for days. Skiers and riders of all ability levels can easily find their niche here, whether it's exploring the never-ending tree skiing, cruising down a 2.5 mile beginner run from the summit or hucking themselves off a tabletop in one of the many terrain parks and pipes scattered throughout the mountain.