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March 01, 2016

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Joe

In another sign that a once-promising El Niño weather pattern is proving to be no drought-buster, California officials say an unseasonably warm and dry February shrunk the Sierra snowpack to below average depths.

On Tuesday, the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program measured 58 inches of snow at Phillips, off Highway 50 near Echo summit. The measurements are the best recorded for early March since 2011, and a marked contrast to March 2015, when the snow depth was only 6.5 inches. But snow levels are 83 percent of the March 1 average.

Still, forecasters hold out hope for a wet spring. Rain and snow that fell in the so-called “March Miracles” of 1991 and 1995 pulled California out of a prolongued drought those years, state officials said.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article63368402.html#storylink=cpy

Joe

My favorite ski blog has this encouraging weather forecast--get your sandbags ready!

We came to talk about the crazy weather forecasts that have been developing over the last 48 hours. It surely caught my attention when Bryan Allegretto at OpenSnow.com started to mention the possibility of more than 100 inches of snow possible in Tahoe in the next 16 days.

Then a comment at WeatherWest.com showed a forecast for 175 inches of snow at Mount Shasta over the coming week. It wouldn't just be a March Miracle, it would likely lead to March Madness...dare I say too much of a good thing in too short of a time?

Let's start by saying that all of the models are essentially off the charts. Heuristically, we're in a spot where the models just can't reliably predict how things are going to play out. Just about every time we post one of those GFS frames that is "maxed out", what really happens is we get a ton of rain or snow, but not necessarily the deluge the models predict.

It's more likely that we will see something way on the upper end of normal. Then again, maybe it's time to build an ark.

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