Looking at the current conditions, the latest web cam image (courtesy of Nevada Seisomological Lab) shows mid and high level clouds are increasing over the area this afternoon, with a few flurries over the peaks from time to time. The latest satellite image shows another low pressure area over Washington and Oregon moving south along the west coast that will bring the next round of snow to the area.
Looking at the current big picture, it shows the continued deep trough along the west according to the latest 300mb GFS analysis. There is a 110 to 130 knot jet diving down the west side of the trough that will continue to bring weak but cold disturbances to the area. As a result, the NWS in Reno has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 4 AM Thursday through 10 PM Thursday for snow. Currently they are indicating 1 to 3 inches of snow with local amounts to 6 inches in the foothills. Some lake enhanced snow is also possible downwind of the Lake Tahoe area as winds become more aligned to the northwest, so portions of Douglas County could see higher amounts. Given the current trends so far this winter with “inside sliders”, the Carson City area has mostly missed out with the exception of a dusting here and there. It’s difficult to say at this time whether we will see any meaningful snow in the local area at this time as these bands of snow tend to be very mesoscale in nature.
Another storm system that has more overwater trajectory may bring heavier snows to the area for Monday and Tuesday of next week. More later on that storm as we get closer.
Looking ahead, some forecasters have been mentioning that the analog years are similar to the winter of 1961-1962 (mainly 1962) for much of the US. Looking at Carson City data, it shows a different pattern. While the analogs for 500mb heights are similar in some instances going into March, the precipitation for our area was much different:
- October 0.25 inches
- November 0.90 inches
- December 0.54 inches
- January 0.90 inches
- February 6.39 inches
- March 1.40 Inches
- April 0.01 inches
- May 1.39 Inches
For 2017 – 2018, we have seen the following:
- October 0.01 inches
- November 2.69 inches
- December 0.21 inches
- January 0.88 inches
- February 0.00 inches — so far as of 02/21/2018
- March ???
Will March be a miracle month? No one knows yet, but the forecast models continue to show the ridge off the west coast retrograding further out to about 150-160W, which will bring storms developing in the Gulf of Alaska with some overwater trajectory. At this time, none of them look particularly strong, but will be wetter at any rate. There is still a lot of uncertainty so I’ll try to keep updating at we get closer. Let’s hope we can recover from some of this deficit we have already gotten into for snow and rain this water season.