Projected Snowfall thru Jan 2
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Above is the GFS ensemble thru Jan 2nd, which is about when this cycle ends. The GFS does have a good grip on the pattern, meaning the alignment with the Pattern (Lezak’s Recurring Cycle [LRC]), is in agreement. There is a good storm on January 4th that is beyond the range of the above GIF that will end the active part of the pattern and we will enter a small lull until January 9th or 10th when a fast-moving storm will hit the PNW.
It does not appear that we will go through a long stretch without storms–except for southern resorts like Lake Tahoe, Arizona and New Mexico. It looked like there was a 2-week stretch, last cycle, but luckily, the pattern was still evolving, and we avoided a long dry stretch.
For Tahoe, and other southern resorts, its feast or famine. There are a couple of storms left this cycle, before the dry stretch begins. The first being December 21st, then a stronger system on the 27-28. That last storm is not on the GFS presently, it should show up soon.
Tonight’s System Compared to Last Cycle
In the above charts is the system that is coming thru tonight. You can see the large trough, this cycle, was much farther west last cycle. The teleconnections have caused this shift, that is why Tahoe was missed and we had our first bust.
The high-pressure circulation, off the coast (those two circles that looks like an egg) last cycle, determined the position of the trough. No high-pressure circulation this cycle, so we have more of a linier flow causing the trough to drift east.
This is one of the things that we have to solve, to better forecast the long-range. This happens at least once a year. Last year it occurred in cycle 3, totally devastating the Trifecta storm system.
We are progressing through this small break in the pattern, which you can see in the spreadsheet below. This XLS file is recorded snowfall, along with proprietary data, from the last cycle and was confirmed in the cycles before. The yellow blocks are the specific storms, with dates projected to recur.
Tonight, snow begins in the Pacific Northwest’s northern Cascades, around 3 am. This is a fast mover, so not much accumulation will fall. Perhaps a couple of inches before the lifts start turning at Crystal, Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass. Stevens and Snoqualmie could begin with freezing rain as a warm air aloft is in place until 3 am or so. Maybe a tenth of ice before changing over to snow.
Tomorrow, Snow spreads to the southern Cascade resorts Mt Hood Timberline and Meadows. I’m not expecting much precipitation for Mt Bachelor, as it is on the edge of the system. Expect 2-4 for Crysal, Snoqualmie, Stevens Pass and Mt Hood. Temperatures will be in the low 20’s in Washington to upper 20’s in Oregon.
Tomorrow night, Snow will likely linger Tomorrow Night, with and 1-2 additional accumulation. Monday night the next system arrives and will bring heavier totals.
Next System Arrives Monday Night
Utah and Colorado
This is looking better for Colorado, at the moment, but I won’t count Utah out just yet, Utah has been kicking ass lately. The storm arrives in Utah Tuesday night but won’t reach the strongest until Wednesday afternoon. Thursday should be the best day to ride. Temps will continue to be cold with high’s in the teens.
Colorado gets underway Wednesday around noon, for the northern mountains. Wednesday evening for the central and southern mountains. As of now, the southern mountains will be lucky to get 4+, but this is still a long way out so we will keep an eye on the models. Last cycle, it did not reach Telluride, Wolf, or Silverton.
High totals for the northern and central ranges, last time thru, were at Steamboat 7, Beaver Creek 5 and Vail 8. We will dial the totals in by Monday.
Weather 2020 Meteorologist Gary Lezak
In case you missed it, we announced our partnership with Weather 2020, and meteorologist Gary Lezak is joining our team. Gary will be doing a weekly video blog, along with pattern updates and much more.
Thanks for reading the blog, as always if you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or send an email to Mike@FutureSnow.CO
Pacific Northwest Cascade Mountains
Lake Tahoe Sierra Mountains
Utah Wasatch Mountains
Colorado Rocky Mountains
Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass, Vail, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Powderhorn, Ski Cooper, Telluride, Crested Butte, Silverton, Wolf Creek, Eldora, Loveland