As I was grinding the French Roast this morning, I noticed the trees outside the DaveCave's kitchen window were still for the first time in what, Four days? The weatherdude on this morning's Trainwreck News said the wind would return Sunday night.
Damage-wise the Tahoe Sierra got off easy. The blustery winds became hurricane-strength Santa Ana Winds in SoCal and really tore things up. Even the Big Valley suffered worse than the mountains. Sacramento TV News was full of fallen trees on cars and houses.
So where does all this wind come from? Well, there's a huge Blocking Ridge parked on the Pacific Coast. This ridge of high pressure causes all the storm systems spinning out of the Gulf of Alaska to travel up and over the ridge before diving down in to the Rockies. The wind is from the system's western edges, the dry side of the low.
The winds rekindled some hot spots from the Caughlin Ranch Fire that burned into Reno on November 18th. Reno Fire Dept doused the little hot spots in no time. Originally, it was another blast of high winds that caused the Caughlin Ranch Fire in the first place.
As the coffee began to course through my veins...doing it's magic, my curiosity began to reach cat-level, so I clicked around the local webcams, weather stations, and PWS pages. In total, since the winds brought the snowmaking-friendly tempeartures the crews were able to make snow fourty hours straight, and overnight for a couple of days. Temps raised above freezing about the time I started dripping this morning's pot of French Roast.
So snowmaking looks to be a long grind this week...it's that watched pot thing, I'm afraid. Snowmakers are earning it while groomers are payin' their dues. The blocking ridge isn't going anywhere for the next week, and the forecasters don't look more than a week ahead anyway.