150 mph+ winds, 8 feet snow, possible from next California storm

The wind speeds forecast would be Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, possibly Cat 5.

The National Weather Service in Reno issued their forecast discussion today for California’s Sierra Nevada, and the forecast of 150 mile per hour plus winds is confirmed, along with 4-8 feet of snow at high elevations:


FXUS65 KREV 092315


Area Forecast Discussion

National Weather Service Reno NV

315 PM PST Mon Jan 9 2017


The weather will remain unsettled through at least Wednesday. These

storms are colder with lower snow levels lessening the flood

threat. However, downstream areas will continue to be susceptible

to flooding through Tuesday afternoon. Aside from the flooding,

heavy Sierra snowfall with periods of rain and snow will continue

into Western Nevada. High winds are also possible Tuesday. Drier

weather is expected late week into the weekend.



Attention shifts to incoming winter storms over the next couple

days with the biggest impact being heavy snow and blowing snow in

the Sierra. Flooding concern is diminishing today, although there

are still some impacts and concerns for downstream locations

through Tuesday, including east of Sparks on the Truckee River,

the Carson River, and the Middle Fork Feather River near Portola.

A Flood Advisory remains in effect for much of northeastern CA and

western NV as flood waters have been slow to drain from lowland

areas around the Truckee Meadows, Sierra Valley, Carson Valley,

and portions of Lassen County. A few locations still remain

covered by flood waters, including Highway 395 near Johnson Lane

where the Carson River is coming out of it`s banks.

Precipitation is increasing in the Sierra ahead of our next

winter storm that is moving in tonight through Wednesday. Some

convection is developing on the western slopes of the Sierra this

afternoon and will carry over into the eastern Sierra/Tahoe Basin

and even into the lower valley of northeastern CA and western NV


We have issued a winter weather advisory for Surprise Valley and

Northern Washoe Counties as high resolution models are showing a

strong potential for several inches of snow tonight for areas north

of Pyramid Lake. Earlier this morning, the high-res models were

showing the potential for a quick 1-2 inches of snow around the

Reno-Carson City-Minden, but have since backed off on this

potential. We still have the mention in the forecast for light snow

around Reno- Carson, but forecaster confidence is rather low. Snow

levels will then rise Tuesday afternoon, possibly rising as high

as 6000-7000 feet north to south before crashing back to the

valley floors by Wednesday morning.

The atmosphere becomes more stable Tuesday morning, with increasing

winds across the region. 700mb flow increases to around 60-70kts,

with very strong winds likely along the Sierra Front Tuesday

afternoon and evening. High winds with gusts up to 65 mph are

likely Tuesday for the Sierra Front areas from Mono County north

to the Oregon border. Wind prone areas, especially those along

US-395 will see gusts up to 80 mph at times. For the Sierra

ridges, we could see winds exceeding 150 mph at times Tuesday. We

have upgraded to a High Wind Warning for the Sierra Front areas.

We may need to issue a wind advisory for Pershing and Churchill

Counties as well, but for now we have their winds just below


By Tuesday evening, the front pushes into the region, with heavier

snow in the Sierra and precipitation spilling over into the

valleys of northeast CA and western NV. By Wednesday, we could see

up to 4 to 8 feet of snow in the high Sierra above 7000 feet, with

2 to 5 feet around the Lake Tahoe Basin and around Mammoth Lakes.

Blizzard conditions will occur over the passes and ridges Tuesday

and Tuesday night. Blizzard conditions may also be widespread in

the lower elevations for the Tahoe Basin and 395 corridor in Mono

County Tuesday afternoon and evening.

Snow levels will be coming back down to around 4500-5000 feet

Wednesday morning, with a slight potential for accumulating snow

on the valley floors by early Wednesday morning, although this may

end up mixed with rain. Snow will taper off on Wednesday

afternoon, with light snow continuing in the Sierra through

Thursday morning. There is some uncertainty in another shortwave

for Thursday that may bring additional snowfall to the Sierra.


Source: http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=REV&issuedby=REV&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1


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January 9, 2017 6:34 pm

So you’re saying more drought? j/k

Reply to  Jim132
January 9, 2017 6:46 pm

From July to December Los Angeles got 50% more rainfall than normal.
This storm should give the “drought” meme a real butt-kicking.

Phil B
Reply to  PA
January 9, 2017 7:15 pm

Remember when snow was going to be a thing of the past by 2012?
Remember when California was never going to see rain again?
Remember when the Sierra Nevada was going to be snow free all winter?
Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  PA
January 9, 2017 10:40 pm

When there are about 10 million too many people in SoCal than there is water storage capacity for, and when there are millions of acres of fescue grass in a desert to keep green, is anyone really surprised by water shortages. When comparing everything in a normally dry climate to some of the wettest years in SoCal evah!!!, everything looks like a drought.
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Reply to  PA
January 10, 2017 1:26 am

There’s no such thing as a shortage of water. Never was, is not now, and never will be. Whatever we dream up to use water, however astoundingly wasteful we are with it, whatever the climate future holds, there will always be water, and plenty of it.
Okay, it is not always in the right place for what we want to do with it, but that’s just engineering (and, if you’re in CA or many other places, politics)

Reply to  PA
January 10, 2017 6:33 am

mothcatcher: Agreed. There is a certain amount of water available and nature recycles it continuously. Humans may utilize it poorly and live far away from the sources of water, but the water remains irregardless of what we use it for.

Reply to  PA
January 10, 2017 7:34 am

West Coast ?
Hey, I’m on the East Coast, and we here in central NC just had 9 inches of snow and really below-average temperatures for the past few days.
The weather here seems schizophrenic — cold, then unseasonably warm, then cold, now snow in an amount that I haven’t seen in years here — compared to how I remember it as a child.

Reply to  PA
January 10, 2017 8:29 am

50% more in California means 3 inches instead of 2. 😉
But it is more!

george e. smith
Reply to  Jim132
January 9, 2017 7:50 pm

Well the snow could pile up into drifts as high as 28 feet.
But with those 150 miles per hour category five winds, all of that snow will be blown over into Nevada, so California won’t get any of it.
But I have dug my shovel out of the garage to have on hand in case any snow lands in Sunnyvale.

Neil Jordan
January 9, 2017 6:43 pm

Facing a drive out of Mammoth tomorrow. I put on special global warming tire chains. Very messy, but I’ve seen worse around here.

R.S. Brown
January 9, 2017 6:46 pm

The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is each Tuesday at 7 a.m. EST.
Here’s what it looks like before this week’s update:

Donald Kasper
Reply to  R.S. Brown
January 9, 2017 6:47 pm

The El Nino last winter hit Northern California. This year, the weather pattern shifted south though the El Nino was gone. So there may be an El Nino effect, and a latency effect.

Greg locke
Reply to  R.S. Brown
January 10, 2017 11:21 am

So what exactly does it take to “break” a drought? Northern and Central California reservoirs are all now filled well over the average for the date. Sierra snow-pack is at about 120% of normal for the date, even before the storm that will hit today through Thursday, and will probably average 75+% of April 1 norm after this storm. Rivers are all at or above flood stage. Soils are saturated. Yet, none of that seems to matter to the drought monitor people. Is drought measured by precipitation percent of average over some set period of time? if so, how does that make sense in light of an event like is occurring this week in California?

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Greg locke
January 10, 2017 3:42 pm

California is a little like Lake Wobegone, Here, ALL the rain is below average.

Donald Kasper
January 9, 2017 6:46 pm

Two years ago we were told that was the start of a 200 year megadrought from climate change. To stop it, they started a CO2 exchange. This prediction, is a long list of bloopers, did not pan out very well for them.

Ken Mitchell
January 9, 2017 6:48 pm

AT THE SUMMIT, Anthony. Nothing like that down below the ski resorts. Here in Sacramento, the wind is gusty but not extreme, and the rain isn’t too bad. Nowhere NEAR the flood of 1986!

Reply to  Ken Mitchell
January 10, 2017 6:37 am

I wondered. That 150 mph stuff sounds a bit off. At the summit, yes. I live in Wyoming and have wind gusts to 80 or more, steady wind at 40 mph, on a fairly regular basis, but we rarely see anything over 100 mph gusts and 55 to 60 mph sustained anywhere in our very windy state.
[Ha! That’s nothing, the UK is going to get Thundersnow, yes Thundersnow and it is terrifying. Apparently it happens when you have thunder when it’s snowing. And it’s really, really scary and dangerous, apparently . . . mod]

Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 7:46 am

I experienced thundersnow here in northern Vermont a few years back. It was amazing! It occurred at night and I was driving home from a friends house. When the first bolt flashed I wondered if I was having a stroke or some kind of flashback. The subsequent four or five bolts were experienced with eyes wide open to capture and remember the sight of a intensely lit country landscape in the midst of a snowstorm, at night.
I’d like to see it again someday. Very rare stuff.

Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 7:52 am

Thunder snow is kind of fun, at least I like to watch the lightning light up the falling snow. Don’t see it too often, but spring in CO is full of extremes.

Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 8:43 am

Thundersnow isn’t impossible, I once was playing in the snow in upstate NY when lightning happened, boy, did we run inside, fast!

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 8:52 am

Yup, the loud “crack” of thunder and the bright “flash” of a lightning bolt at nighttime during the “whiteout” conditions of a winter snowstorm ……. is a sight to behold.
And a really scary sight to behold the 1st time you witness it.
When it happens it makes one think that they were on the “inside” of a camera’s “flashbulb” when someone “snapped” a picture.
Every snowflake in the air around you “reflects” and “re-reflects” the bright “white” flash of visible light created by the lightening.

Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 10:19 am

Happens in NYC all the time. I lived in Manhattan for about a decade ending a few years ago. I heard it at least once a winter, more than that in the winters we got a lot of snow.

Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 11:20 am

Happens more than the “rarely” used to describe it it (as others have noted). It was absolutely fascinating the first time I heard and saw it. It’s just a thunderstorm that produces snow instead of rain. It may be somewhat more dangerous than rain because one cannot always see where the lightening is. I actually liked the whole thundersnow event. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting in retrospect.
It does seem to be more widespread these days, though I’m going by memory only on that one.
(This is Realilty Check responding, using my real name.)

Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 1:35 pm

In the Mid-Atlantic states thundersnow is not particularly unusual. It seems every few years a cold front passes through chasing warmer muggy air and developing enough uplift to reach thunderstorm status.
The snow does seem to stifle a thunderstorm’s normal wind blasts.
Nor terribly dangerous unless you’re standing out side holding a graphite rod in the air or climbing an aluminum pole.
It’s kinda cool in that the noise is so muffled that the resounding crash doesn’t.
Besides, I suspect much of the thundersnow is cloud-cloud lightning more than cloud to ground. Still, don’t wave graphite rods and clubs around above one, and be sure to use the fluorescent golf balls.

Reply to  ATheoK
January 12, 2017 4:45 am

The first thundersnow I witnessed was just outside of Pittsburgh in late November 74. But I have seen it a couple more times in the mid-Atlantic, the last time about 10 years ago.

Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 9:32 pm

I saw my first Thundersnow in Moorhead Minnesota in the late 70s snowing and blowing hard, the entire sky would light up. It was snowing far too hard to see the bolts of lighting. That storm dropped 18 inches in early November. The next time was in Arizona hunting Elk, camped out only to have snow and thunder and lighting all at the same time. The Mogollon rim can do that, that storm produced not much snow just lots of wind lighting, and noise. It is strange being snowed on when the is a thunderstorm going on.

Reply to  Reality check
January 11, 2017 3:03 pm

The blizzard of ’93 brought thundersnow to the deep South, in March.

Robert W Turner
January 9, 2017 6:52 pm

The Sierra snow pack website is currently down due to high traffic lol.

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  Robert W Turner
January 9, 2017 10:44 pm

Wow, global warming can even take down the internet. It’s worse than we thought!!!

January 9, 2017 7:00 pm

Ken Mitchell–also here in Sacramento, and totally agree. It’s also nothing like 1862 or, for that matter, 1997. The Yolo spillway has hardly any water, the reservoirs still have capacity, and the snow levels are dropping. Now, if you get caught in a mudslide or avalanche, or your neighborhood floods, it still completely sucks. But–the most recent storm brought 173 mph gusts to ridges at Squaw/Alpine, so color me wary-of-the-ridges-but-not-blown-away (pardon the pun).
And we will STILL be in a drought because we don’t have a water management system for our huge population.

Reply to  Theyouk
January 9, 2017 8:18 pm

That’s the criminal thing about all of this—that California’s elected officials would rather squander billions on a high-speed rail system that’s rife with waste, mismanagement, and ineffectiveness rather than new systems to move and store water, or inject it back into the aquifer—but since it’s loony California, I’d expect nothing less.

Reply to  AZ1971
January 9, 2017 9:14 pm

The scandal is wasting immense money to move water from where it is to where some idiots want to live and expecting the rest of the state to pay for it. In addition to that, California’s problem is not drought. It’s population. The empirical data has been available for decades. Under worst case water situations as reflected in dendrochronological data (trees aren’t thermometers, but they are first-class rain gauges) we could dam every stream in the state, and there would still not be enough rain for the state population as of 1970. The information was available to Jerry’s dad. Neither, he nor Reagan, Deukmejian, Wilson or Davis has ever bothered to try and sell SoCal on paying their own way with desalinization or some other viable option appropriate to south state idiocy. Also,”storing that water would demand immense reservoirs. Try calculating the actual volume of storage needed to keep us drinking during a 100 year drought There have been two of those in the last 1,000 years, just natural variation. If it is a choice between Northern California agriculture and salmon, vs SoCal crowding, I go for the farmers and salmon.

Reply to  Theyouk
January 10, 2017 9:33 am

Since 1970, California population increased 76%. Water reservoir capacity increased 28%. Self inflicted drought wounds.

Reply to  ristvan
January 11, 2017 7:03 am

Looks like California has actually double in population since 1970. 19 million to 38 Million.
And, as stated above, there is no drought. California has massive rainfall every 10-12 years and not much in between. That is NORMAL! Check out the history of major flooding. In my lifetime we have 1955, 1964, 1979, 1983, 1986, 1996-7, 1986, 1997, 2005, and now!!!! 2016. And that just off the top of my head. The lesser rainfall between the major storms is just part of the average. All very normal for us.

January 9, 2017 7:12 pm

As of last week, California’s grant total reservoir water level is 102% of average….
Following this week of heavy snow and rain, levels will rise even higher…
Since this doesn’t fit with Leftist narrative of “the worst California drought evaaaaa”, the MSM, of course, doesn’t report reservoir levels are already back to above average levels…

Reply to  SAMURAI
January 9, 2017 7:29 pm

And the amount already released to the ocean (notably out of Folsom Reservoir) is mind mind-boggling…

Reply to  theyouk
January 9, 2017 7:56 pm

Yes, Leftist political hacks in California will proceed to needlessly dump millions of gallons down rivers to “save the river smelt and the snail darter” and they’ll again face water shortages in a few years… which they’ll blame on Global Warming rather than Leftists’ awful water policies.
The Leftist envirowackos will not allow new reservoirs to be built, nor will they efficiently use the water reserves that have built up… They’ll squander a huge portion of it.
And so it goes….

Reply to  theyouk
January 9, 2017 8:38 pm

You’re right—from Dec 13th to Jan 2nd those governMENTAL yahoos let 227397 acre feet out of Folsom (FOL) reservoir alone. So instead of having ~728000 acre feet in storage (and the commensurate 75% of total capacity) now there’s just ~500000 acre feet which is 41% of total capacity.
If this isn’t criminal, it ought to be.

Reply to  theyouk
January 9, 2017 9:18 pm

Forget the frigging snail darter and smelt. Think Chinook and Coho salmon and agriculture. Southern California has all the b****y water it needs right out past the beach. The north state has had more than enough rainfall every year during this “drought” for both agriculture and fishery needs, if we weren’t required to waste it on L.A. and the desert at the south end of the San Joaquin Valley.

Reply to  theyouk
January 11, 2017 7:05 am

Criminal? Mind boggling? How much water is in the mountains in the form of snow and more potential for rain with the storm door standing wide open. They have to release water to create storage capacity or risk uncontrolled releases. Educate yourself before you open your virtual pie hole here on the internet.

Reply to  SAMURAI
January 10, 2017 1:11 pm

>>This doesn’t fit with Leftist narrative of
>>“the worst California drought evaaaaa”,
Yes it does. This is a graphic illustration of the kind of terrible drought-floods they have been forecasting. There are, as you know, no ends to the remarkable qualities and powers of the CO2 molecule.

Reply to  ralfellis
January 10, 2017 8:44 pm

IPCC’s 2013 AR5 Report admits NO increasing severe weather frequency/intensity global trends for 60~100 years for: hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, droughts, floods, tornadoes, tropical storms, sub-tropical storms, thunderstorms and hail…
There have always been and there always will be periodic incidences of severe weather events.
The silly CAGW hypothesis projected increasing trends of severe weather frequency and intensity, but the empirical evidence shows this assertion was WRONG…
Just another reason why this silly CAGW ho-x should be officially disconfirmed ASAP.

January 9, 2017 7:29 pm

Early seventies redux. Didn’t need to steeenking Nino. Rained like this. I was skiing the Muir Trail. Weather sucked. Get over it. It’s normal.

No Name Guy
January 9, 2017 7:30 pm

Yeah…but its west coast, so we won’t hear about it for weeks like a cat 1 hurricane in the East. /snark

January 9, 2017 7:32 pm

Yesterday (Jan. 8, 2017) the approximately 1000 year-old Pioneer Cabin Tree (aka Tunnel Tree) in California fell in the storm. Have ring studies been done on this particular tree?

george e. smith
Reply to  noaaprogrammer
January 9, 2017 7:55 pm

Well if you dig a tunnel through a tree and get rid of the roots, it will fall over by itself with a little push. The maroons who murdered this tree years ago ought to be lined up and shot. (officially).

Reply to  george e. smith
January 9, 2017 8:13 pm

But they are all dead already…

Leo Smith
Reply to  george e. smith
January 9, 2017 8:45 pm

Did you really mean ‘maroons’

Reply to  george e. smith
January 9, 2017 9:55 pm

you can be a mourner at the funeral if you know how to ululate.
mingle your tears.

Reply to  george e. smith
January 9, 2017 9:56 pm

instead of shooting the tree murders, why not torture them?
you can cut off their limbs with an axe – just like they do to trees!
and live stream it.

Reply to  george e. smith
January 9, 2017 10:00 pm

or maybe behead them and yell out NATURE AKBAR!
you just need to get a gang together who can hold them down for you.
can’t you just imagine the blood spurting and splashing all hot and red?
and whatcha wanna bet they were trump supporters anyway, right?
maroons have no rights- especially to a tree they own.
you can be sure they were cis gender white guys too, georgie.
slash them! burn them! teach those suckers who’s the boss around here, georgie.

Michael of Was
Reply to  george e. smith
January 9, 2017 10:10 pm

Yep! Maroons!

Reply to  george e. smith
January 10, 2017 12:33 pm

The Wawona tree which was tunneled through in 1881 also fell back in 1969.
As I live near Calaveras Big Trees, I’ve been through it many times. I’m sure they’ll leave it alone where it fell so I can still see it for the next 500 years or so.

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
January 10, 2017 6:42 am

From the looks of the pictures, there really isn’t a trunk left. It shattered on impact.

Reply to  Reality check
January 10, 2017 9:36 am

It was hollow to near the top as a consequence of old fire scars and then the tunnel placed 137 years ago.

Barbara Skolaut
January 9, 2017 7:38 pm

150 mph winds and 8 feet of snow – is there anything global warming can’t do?
Speaking of GW, it was below zero in Central Virginia last night. Where’s my goddam global warming?

Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
January 9, 2017 7:54 pm

Global Warming? Oh, you mean C8! (Cash Cow Caucasian Caused Catastrophic Carbon Climate Change)

John M. Ware
Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
January 10, 2017 3:57 am

Yes! Petersburg, VA, 20 miles or so south of Richmond, recorded -8 F two nights in a row. Richmond itself had a low of 0 degrees F yesterday, a degree below the all-time record there for the date. Here in Mechanicsville the lowest I saw was three degrees, but that’s still plenty cold. This part of the state got 8 to 12 inches of snow in the storm (which wasn’t really stormy, just continuous steady brisk snowfall for 12 hours or so; occasional gusts of wind, but nothing severe, at least here).

Barbara Skolaut
Reply to  John M. Ware
January 10, 2017 9:32 am

Minus 4 in Chesterfield, John. Good thing we live in the sunny south.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
January 10, 2017 6:56 am

It’s gotten down to 8°F overnight here in north central New Jersey. It’s warmer at my in-laws place in Marion, Montana, although that’s due to flip-flop on Wednesday or so.

Reply to  Barbara Skolaut
January 10, 2017 7:14 am

Just imagine how bad it would be without our 0.8c AlGoreWarming .

Greg in Texas
January 9, 2017 7:39 pm

A clear footprint of climate disruption…. /sarc

January 9, 2017 7:42 pm

KT22 beckons and I hear its call. It’s time for me to relocate to Squaw Valley and pound the West Face, 75 Chute, Rock Garden and the rest of the terrain until they close, which at the rate snow has been falling may not be until July.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
January 9, 2017 9:07 pm

Get there quick CO2, the last time this happened (1996 as I recall) we got 11 feet of snow the week before Christmas, then a pineapple express the week after that dumped a foot of rain up to 9000′. Truckee was under 3 feet of water for almost a week. Couldn’t even get to the supermarkets. It didn’t snow much at all the rest of the season. My wife ended up with pneumonia anyway so she didn’t mind, I was a little peeved though.

Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 9:36 pm

Oh. And that was the beginning of the “Super El Nino” so since we’re at the end of this one, you’ll probably get luckier than me. No worries 🙂
I wish I could still ski. One too many falls off my horse; for me, the war is over…

Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 10:14 pm

Yes, I remember that, but as usual, more colder storms followed. It’s always been like that where storms vary between hot and cold and years vary between wet and dry. Without weather it’s usually quite pleasant, in the 40’s or higher and the bikinis come out even in mid winter.
There was a warm pineapple express storm on Sunday and Monday. Snow levels were bouncing between 7K and 9K feet. The next series is the topic of this article, is colder and still connected to subtropical moisture with snow levels below lake level (6K feet). The cold storm that passed through last week dropped snow below 1000′ and many feet of light powder on the ridges, which by now is pretty water logged. It will make a good base for spring skiing It’s shaping up to be like 2010/2011 when there was over 800″ of snow at Squaw and there were places in the back country that I’d never been able to ski past mid July and that were skiable until the snow started to fall the next winter. These places are high enough (10K+ feet) that even during the last storm it was all snow, so I anticipate another good summer season.

Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 10:36 pm
James at 48
Reply to  co2isnotevil
January 10, 2017 6:20 pm

Rasta BBQ ski adventure 4th of July Weekend? 🙂

January 9, 2017 7:48 pm

Might have to get out the yard stick to measure the snow this week.

If they get four to eight feet of snow, a yard stick might not do.

george e. smith
Reply to  commieBob
January 9, 2017 7:56 pm

You ain’t seen his yard.

Reply to  george e. smith
January 10, 2017 10:51 am

How many cubits is it, George?

john karajas
January 9, 2017 7:54 pm

Meantime, Eastern and Southern Europe is in the grip of a very cold spell that has led to a number of deaths by freezing in Poland, Greece and elsewhere. Moscow reported the coldest Orthodox Christmas Day (January 7th, by the way for all of you that are unlucky not to be of the Orthodox faith) for 120 years. Obviously caused by man-made global warming!!!!!!!

January 9, 2017 8:05 pm

Spring flooding coming. I hope Cali decides to keep some of the water this year. Will a fish not let it happen again?

David L. Hagen
January 9, 2017 8:34 pm

173 mph wind whips Squaw Valley peak
By Amy Graff Updated 5:53 pm, Monday, January 9, 2017

The most impressive gusts blew at 173 mph on a Squaw Valley summit and 175 mph atop a peak in Alpine Meadows.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
January 10, 2017 6:45 am

Was anyone there to experience them?

Reply to  Sheri
January 10, 2017 10:19 am

There were some pretty epic kite fights.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
January 10, 2017 10:13 am

Just imagine all the Mw generated by the wind farms in the high mountain passes!! Oh, wait! They shut down!

January 9, 2017 8:37 pm

These “Forecasters”, “Meteorologists”, “Climate Geographer Scientists” should just go FULL MONTY and say that surface winds will be in excess of 1 Million mph and Snow Depths will exceed 3000 miles. The IPCC will not argue!
After all, This is Al Gore’s Phantasmagoria World isn’t it!

January 9, 2017 8:43 pm

Despite being in a drought California drains fresh water from dams into the ocean. This is the same state government who’s hubris and stupidity touts itself as being the world leader in CO2 mitigation. Not content with just being an air quality leader California wants to prove to the world it doesn’t understand the difference between pollution and climate.

Reply to  markl
January 9, 2017 9:45 pm

“Despite being in a drought California drains fresh water from dams into the ocean.”
They have to Mark, it’s very early in the season and CA doesn’t have the capacity to handle another 1998/99 “Super La Nina”. Those reservoirs are dual purpose; they store water and they also control floods. If they get too close to capacity this early in the season they risk flooding the central valley. Decades ago, that would have been good for the farmers but now there are too many people living there. They can’t let it flood so they blow off the water and then ration everyone in the spring.
It’s a bad situation all around. And yes, we have our “leadership” to blave.
“To blave. It means “to bluff”. He’s obviously bluffing! This man died in a card game!”
— Miracle Max, “The Princess Bride”

Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 9:47 pm

And yes, I know I’m paraphrasing. I was too lazy to Google it.

Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 9:59 pm

Their primary purpose is flood control–and the guidelines are from the pre-weather satellites 1950’s. The California water system is not nearly as complex as the rules, regulations, and politics in which it is trapped. The whole thing is completely moronic, imho.

January 9, 2017 9:01 pm

The possible ~150 MPH winds are forecast for the Sierra ridges, which means around 11,000-14,000 feet above sea level. Also, the paragraph this was mentioned in says is talking about peak gusts, not the 1-minute-sustained-average that is the main number reported of hurricanes. The 1-minute-sustained will exceed the hourly average however.
A 150 MPH peak gust is typical of at most 130 MPH 1-minute-sustained-average. Let’s suppose this happens at the 700 mb level, even though I expect such strong wind to be restricted to at least 1,000 feet higher. The latest GFS forecast as of while I am writing this shows the fastest 700 mb wind to be where the 700 mb temperature is around -8 degrees C, around 265 K. The surface pressure in the windiest region a hurricane barely achieving 130 MPH 1-minute-sustained wind at the official 10 meter altitude seems to be typically 955 mb, and the air temperature there seems to be typically around 24 degrees C or 297 K.
The density of air at 700 mb and 265 K is about 82% of that in the part of the eyewall of a hurricane achieving 130 MPH 1-minute-sustained wind at the official altitude. The force of wind is proportional to windspeed squared and density. This means that 130 MPH at 700 mb and 265 K causes the same force as 118 MPH in a hurricane. Such wind force equivalent is in the lower half of Category 3, not Category 4 or 5.

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
January 9, 2017 9:21 pm

Don, in January of 2007, on the 7th to be specific, I had 4 hours of sustained 110 mph winds at 1900′ in the Santa Cruz mountains of California. It blew out 6 hurricane rated french door in my living room.
They’re reporting 175 mph winds at Squaw now (~9500′). Yesterday I had 75 mph sustained winds for over 4 hours.
You can talk this down all you like, but I expect it’s going to get pretty brutal. I’ve been on backup power for three days and haven’t had running water (jet pump failure) since Friday.

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
January 9, 2017 9:26 pm

Oh, and the roads are closed. The pluber called this morning to say he couldn’t get here with a replacement pump due to mudslides in Brookdale that have hwy 9 closed.
Sorry, just not in the right mood to have anyone blow sunshine up my kilt.

Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 9:28 pm

Plumber. I’m irate. When I’m irate my typing goes all to hell. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it 🙂

Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 9:58 pm

And I’m out of Scotch. By tomorrow I’ll be out of wine.
It would be good for me to quit drinking. I just wanted it to be voluntary.

Reply to  Bartleby
January 10, 2017 1:27 am

You have my sympathy, not that it counts for much. Hope it all ends well and it is not as bad as forecast.

January 9, 2017 9:43 pm

Is this a cold air outbreak or a regional cooling signal?

Reply to  ironicman
January 9, 2017 9:54 pm

My guess would be a combination of warm water and cold air. Happens every time.

Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 10:01 pm

So its only weather?
If we can find an historical pattern its climate.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Bartleby
January 9, 2017 10:16 pm

ironicman at 10:01
… pattern …
I do NOT see a pattern in that chart. Thus, it is weather.
(Nice photos though.)

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  ironicman
January 9, 2017 10:11 pm

Neither. Look at the earth.nullschool.net site or something similar. The air is from the southwest — not cold. Such air carries moisture, thus called an atmospheric river.
Signal? — no, just weather. Not new. Not unprecedented. And Trump is not responsible. Some may not believe this, but you can quote me.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 9, 2017 10:32 pm

Thanks John, I’ll take your word for it.

Reply to  ironicman
January 10, 2017 2:58 am

For the moment its just weather, it will have to become a increasing trend for it to turn into climate.
But if this weather patterning did become more common, then yes it would lead to climate cooling in N America.
By the way the weather over the Great Lakes area on the 13th could get nasty. As cold air imported all the way from Arctic NE Russia, will flow down cross this area where it meets up with warm air coming from the Pacific. So its likely that the area can expect some heavy snowfalls.

R.S. Brown
January 9, 2017 11:35 pm

As the sun rises over California this Tuesday morning, some of you might be
interested in the views afforded via the highway cams provided by Caltrans:

Reply to  R.S. Brown
January 10, 2017 1:04 am

Drove up it (some thirty years ago) from SF to Grass Valley (Grass Valley inc. later Tektronix) and Nevada City with excursion to Lake Tahoe. Great country.

R.S. Brown
Reply to  R.S. Brown
January 10, 2017 12:53 pm

Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel just did a live broadcast from
the ski lift @ Lake Tahoe.

January 10, 2017 12:08 am

Sounds like there is enough weather forecast to bury people and their cars in snowdrifts not to be found til spring.
This anthropogenic global warming is a murderous thing;)

Mark T
January 10, 2017 12:21 am

Records are being set in Colorado Springs, too. Sadlly, the great dust up of 2017 has claimed a victim I knew and loved: my grill.

Roy Spencer
January 10, 2017 4:44 am

I don’t know where the 150 mph comes from. The most I’m seeing from the hires models is maybe 100 mph.

January 10, 2017 5:54 am

maybe union pacific will need to run the rotaries over donner pass area.
sweet, will be rail videographers watching for this I expect.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  dmacleo
January 10, 2017 11:12 am

To all you Californians, please don’t eat each other until it’s absolutely necessary.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
January 10, 2017 1:46 pm

Yes! Mentioned to my wife earlier today it would be a great week to visit Donner Memorial State Park again. We could get a taste (no pun intended) of the weather conditions the Donner Party faced.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
January 10, 2017 2:03 pm

LOL good point
although a rotary would tear the meat up..

January 10, 2017 5:58 am

The YTD Water year at this time (October 1st,2013-September 30th, 2014) in January 9th, 2014 the rain total was a extremely dry 0.53″ of rain! Now my YTD water year rainfall total is 8.81″! That is a 1662% increase!

Reply to  Thunder98
January 10, 2017 4:44 pm

And in three more years, say to 2020, the same RATE OF INCREASE will give about 130 inches. London is pretty dry – at ~23-26 inches/year.
And by 2026 – eight more doublings – some half a mile of rain.
Wouldn’t want to be there in 2032 – a hundred miles deep of rain – Grandchild Moonbeam is going to have to open those sluices a million percent! Or more.
But SoCal will still be in drought.
Who’s your Noah?
Or am I, perhaps, extrapolating like a true-believing watermelon???
Auto – not too bad at multiplying by two.
But can you believe it?
Mods – a rhetorical Question.

Ryan Green
Reply to  Auto
January 10, 2017 5:24 pm

Of course the alrmist wil blame the increase in storms in California on global warming.

Steve Oregon
January 10, 2017 9:25 am

Cancel Peak Water.
The west is wet!
Snow Water Equivalents (inches) couple days ago -Percent of normal for this date (%) 126
California Data Exchange Center – Reservoirs- most well above average fot his date
Lake Mead and Lake Powell are getting recharged as well.
. http://lakepowell.water-data.com/LP_Rivers.php
Rivers feeding Lake Powell are running at 151.46% of the Jan 10th avg. Click for Details
Upper Colorado River Basin
SNOTEL Snow/Precipitation Update Report
Snow water Eq. 158% of median
Water year to date precip. 164% of average

Reply to  Steve Oregon
January 10, 2017 5:12 pm

As of this morning, El Dorado County seasonal precipitation is at 190% of normal.

Reply to  harkin1
January 10, 2017 5:34 pm

Should have added: “to date”.

Reply to  harkin1
January 11, 2017 7:59 am

Now it’s 204% and it’s still raining heavy.

The Third EYE
January 10, 2017 12:52 pm

70 kts! these storms are not Natural. Someone panicked now that Trump will be President and are doing all they can to fill up the dams with water.
Now it’s a Storm that’s out of control.

James at 48
January 10, 2017 3:05 pm

Even here in the Bay Area, winds on our ridges above 1.5K are prog’ed to hit 60 – 70 MPH.

Brian R
January 10, 2017 3:52 pm

This series of storms is pumping a lot of snow into the mountains. Crusty Butt, er Crested Butte ski area had to close earlier today due to too much snow. There was an avalanche on I-70 at Vail pass overnight trapping a semi.

Brian R
January 10, 2017 3:53 pm

Does anybody know where Al Gore is? Is California seeing the “Gore Effect”?

Reply to  Brian R
January 10, 2017 4:46 pm

I’m sure he is in some distant sunny place.
Reno, Nevada, perchance?

January 10, 2017 5:03 pm

Someone needs to get a picture of all that snow because kids aren’t supposed to know what it is by now .
How’s the Al Gore ice free Arctic doing ? Polar bears apparently didn’t get the memo and are flourishing .
That must be so disappointing to the scary global warming promoters .
Oh well, time for a new mascot to sell global cooling .

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Amber
January 10, 2017 10:13 pm

These folks are collecting photos, and publishing a few:

January 10, 2017 5:14 pm

The latest NOAA blizzard and winter storm warnings mention up to 10 feet in higher elevations, 5 to 7 feet at Tahoe lake level, and snow levels down to 4500 feet overnight, dropping to 3000 feet by Thursday morning. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Steve Lohr
January 10, 2017 5:25 pm

I really enjoy the internet, it doesn’t forget: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/14/science/californias-history-of-drought-repeats.html?_r=0 NYT, what a kick!!

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Steve Lohr
January 10, 2017 10:19 pm

From the NYT link:
But scientists say that in the more ancient past, California and the Southwest occasionally had even worse droughts — so-called megadroughts — that lasted decades. At least in parts of California, in two cases in the last 1,200 years, these dry spells lingered for up to two centuries.
The new normal, scientists say, may in fact be an old one.

I’ll have to go apologize to my SUV. I just told her the other day that the drought in CA was her fault, still young at 8 years old — and she’s never been to CA. I hope she forgives me.

Andrew Bennett
January 11, 2017 12:12 am

Last time there was thundersnow in my part of the UK in 2002. I was driving to a family get together and it was my job to pick up the food on the way. The only problem was that the snow was falling so heavily that you could only see with the wipers on double speed and even then it was touch and go. I was the only person who made to my sisters house and there was 4 people and $150 of Chinese food that I had brought with me.

January 11, 2017 9:46 am

The Tahoe Basin went from 146% normal (for date) SWE to 186% overnight. The Sierra just north of Tahoe (and west of Reno) went from 165% to 200% overnight. I watched the radar last night and Tahoe got hammered continuously with snow, and I-80 from the NV state line over Donner Pass was closed completely by 5:00 pm, for the night.
Squaw Valley USA (NW of Tahoe) had already received 27 fresh inches at 8000 feet by Monday morning (from the tail end of the previous named storm “Iras”). But, looking for a report this morning, every ski resort around Tahoe is CLOSED (for high winds and/or avalanche danger, and probably for digging out) except Heavenly (S. Tahoe) which reports 4 feet fresh snow this morning. I don’t recall ever seeing practically the entire Tahoe ski industry shut down at once, and I’ve lived here for 45 years.

Reply to  brians356
January 12, 2017 9:56 am

As of 06:00 this morning, Squaw Valley USA received 73 inches new snowfall in the last 72 hours. And Kirkwood ski area considerably more. By tomorrow morning, with the current storm in progress, it could be 100 inches in 4 days. Not a bad recovery from the melt-off we had last weekend.

January 12, 2017 5:19 am
January 12, 2017 5:25 am
January 12, 2017 2:58 pm

According to Accuweather, the Tahoe Basin proper got up to 8 feet of snow on 10 and 11 January. I believe there was a significant “lake effect” particularly on the lee side of the lake itself.

Johann Wundersamer
January 18, 2017 8:46 pm


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