Want Snow And 115 MPH?

mtn

Would you want to have that or sunshine with highs in the 60s to near 70°. OK I know what you’ll say. If you’re a weather geek though like I am, I’d be really curious to see what that experience would be like. Don’t get me wrong, the place I would have to be as secure as they come, there would always have to be power and internet and for good measure the roads would have to be plowed the next day. So in my fantasy world a place like this exists and I would want to be there to see what that type of weather would be like for a couple of days.

Mother nature will be doing her part though over the next several days for both types of weather. Since I’ve already in the last few days talked about the warmth heading this way with the potential for records on Sunday and maybe Monday (records being 70° both days) let’s talk about where the weather will be a “little” rougher. To do that we have to head out to Northern CA and Southern OR where heavy rains and humongous amounts of mountain snows are in process as I type this blog. We’re talking for the lower elevations, below about 5-8,000 feet, 10-20″ of rainfall…but the magic is above 8,000 feet where the air will be just cold enough for snow to fall. This is white gold for the Mt Shasta ski resort which, by the looks of the camera there, certainly can use some snow…

I’m not sure of the elevation of the camera shot (courtesy: Mt Shasta Ski Park…I think about 6500 feet), but since the mountain gets above 14K feet, the upper reaches are sure to get pounded. Conservatively the NWS has about 100″ in the lower end forecast. Their upper end forecast is for close to 160″+…that’s well over 10 FEET of snow over the next 4 days or so! In a typical season they get 250-300″ of snowfall…so this would be a rather nice start for their ski season as a matter of fact according to their website: “The Guinness Book if World Records reports Mount Shasta received the most snowfall ever in a single snowstorm: 189 inches (15 ¾ feet) February 13th to the 19th, 1959.”

Why is this coming about? Well there there is a strong storm out in the Pacific Ocean that is providing a strong feed of subtropical moisture angled right into Northern CA. You can see the storm off the coast of AK and the NW part of Canada with the water vapor image.

Notice that “train” or corridor…or river of moist air moving from the E Pacific into the northern reaches of CA. As that moisture moves in it dumps rain/snow. What makes this situation even more impressive is as the wind/moisture hits the west facing mountain slopes, it’s then brought up the slope of the mountain and that rising motion creates even more rain/snow. Hence why the amounts can get out of control. This is a common phenomena called upsloping.

Just look at the strong winds @ about 10K feet, slamming into the region from the NAM model…this would be for Saturday.

How does that translate into amounts? Take a look.

There is a drought of sorts going on out there, rivers/ponds/lakes are well below average levels so this could really help them out…a lot. Flood prone locations however will be vulnerable.

Meanwhile for us around here, maybe a few sprinkles-light showers on Saturday…then maybe a little rain on Monday…and really nothing else to get excited about for another week-10 days. The latest EURO shows some interesting possibilities with some colder air closer to the 10th or so but again that’s some 10 days away.

Joe

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