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El Nino storms just keep on coming

Another weekend, another couple of storms.

That’s how this El Nino-influenced winter has been, and National Weather Service forecasters are predicting more of the same this weekend.

Yet, after a small storm sweeps the Tahoe Basin Saturday and a stronger one Monday, California may actually have a break to dry out through most of next week.



“The good news is that after the Sunday-Monday event, the rest of the week looks pretty good,” said Bob Melrose a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Reno. “We’ll have a clearing trend with no precipitation through Friday, and it ma go beyond then.”

Before then, however, Tahoe residents and visitors will endure two more storms in a series that began in early January.



Through Thursday, Lake Tahoe had received precipitation on 15 of the 19 days in February. In the first two months of the year, snow or rain has fallen at Lake Tahoe Airport on 31 of 51 days.

Few of the storms have been especially large, but they have been frequent. By Thursday morning, Lake Tahoe Airport had received 6.57 inches of precipitation, including 47 inches of snow, in February. Combined with January’s snowfall of 49 inches, the airport has already received more snowfall this year (96 inches and counting) than in all of 1997 (78 inches), when precipitation fell off sharply after January.

According to the forecasts, the storm expected to arrive Saturday afternoon will be windy but relatively warm. Snow levels are expected to fluctuate between 6,000 and 6,500 feet.

Sunday should be a beautiful day before a stronger, colder system arrives Sunday night and continues Monday.

“It looks impressive, with cold air and more jet stream support,” Melrose said.

Despite the break in the weather expected next week, climate experts announced this week that the nation can expect at least two more months of influence from El Nino, the periodic warming of the ocean in the eastern Pacific that triggers deluges in the American Southwest.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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