1/6 forecast

Posted by
 January 6, 2011

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Good morning!

Although we all hope for lots of moisture during a La Nina season, today is one of those days when we’ll leave the moisture for a different mountain range. Free air freezing levels today will be around 8000 feet, but fortunately, precipitation will be light and spotty all day. However, any moisture that falls will fall as r**n. Winds will be SW at 15-25mph this morning, decreasing to WSW 10-15 this evening.

Tomorrow looks better. Free air freezing levels start the day around 7000’-7500’. By the time the moisture hits, around 1pm, the snow level should be down around 5000’. If not, it will be down to 5000’ by 7pm, when the bulk of the precipitation hits. By 1am, snow levels will be down near 1500’. Total precipitation between 1pm and 10pm will be .5-.75” water value, for 6-8” of new snow. We’ll see an additional 3-4” overnight. Winds tomorrow start off at WSW 15-25, increasing to WSW 25-35 by 4pm.

Saturday looks cold, with snow levels at 1000’-1500’. Total water value on Saturday will be .25”-.5” of orographic precipitation, likely mixed in with sunbreaks. Most of that moisture will fall before 4pm, for 4-5” of snow. Winds on Saturday start at NW 15-25, decreasing to NW 10-20 late in the day.

Sunday looks cold and mostly dry, with light wind and sunshine. Snow levels Sunday will be around 1000’.

In case you’re wondering why California has been getting the bulk of the moisture so far this year, I have an explanation, stolen from an article by a Cali meteorologist. There is a second, climate cycle that affects the PNW, called the Arctic Oscillation (well, there’s a third too, the PDO). According to the author of this article, it’s random, switching between the cold and warm phase on a weekly or monthly or who-knows basis. Anyway, it’s in the cold phase now, meaning there’s high pressure in the arctic. That high pressure is pushing the storm track further south than it would normally be, sending the big storms to Cali. Or that’s the theory, anyway… food for thought.

Have an awesome day today!


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