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Beaver CreekForecast Blog

May Snow, AR Returns

By May 2, 2022May 4th, 2022No Comments


Snow continues to fall, now that we are into May.  We are in the Active West part of the pattern, today is day 22 of cycle 4.  Judging from snow stake cameras at Colorado resorts along I-70, Beaver Creek to Arapahoe Basin all picked up between 2-4.  

If you are following along with the Pattern, the storm that is just exiting Colorado, is the April 28-29 storm that began in the Pacific Northwest.  This system hit the coast, about a day and a half late (6pm 29th) and has followed the usual path. 

The next storm begins Thursday, with the return of the atmospheric river (AR) event, originally at Lake Tahoe.   Below are the previous cycles with projected Cycle 4 charts for Thursday.

You can see cycles 1 and 2 were strong and dropped to Tahoe.  In cycle 3, everything was off with multiple high-pressure areas, so the AR hit Seattle.  A similar setup occurred in cycle 0.  Cycle 0 is like a pre-cycle when the pattern is setting up.  It is a mixture of last year’s storms and new storms, that will become established and return. 

The pre-cycle begins in late July and early August.  The jet stream is way up north, that time of year, so you have to project where those systems will hit as the new cycle begins around the first week of October. End of digression.


Thursday’s storm looks like it will be a small AR, again hitting Seattle.  The GFS model run does have it sliding down to Tahoe, then Utah Saturday and finally Colorado Sat night/Sun morning.  This storm is listed as the May 7-8th storm, on the “Upcoming Storms”,  I have included at the end of the blog, for the last few weeks.  This looks to be a good system, again, as it has hit in all cycles with cycle 2 the winner.  We will see if it holds up.  Below is the GFS projection.

Below are the remaining storms thru June

May 5 (Tahoe AR Oct 25) Epic 100″ week in Cycle 2 with 39″ 1-day total in Cycle 1.However, in Cycle 3 the storm was caught up in the double-barrel high and that pushed the storm up in Canada.

May 7-8 Good storm all three cycles for Colorado and Utah with double-digit totals for all 3 Cycles with Cycle 2 the winner.  If you are looking for a powder day in May, this is the one to watch.  Arapahoe Basin time?

May 13-14 Storm hit Colorado all 3 cycles and missed to the north of Utah, in Cycle 1

May 17 Missed Utah and Colorado to the north in Cycle 1, but hit in both Cycle 2-3

May 20-21 Last storm of Active West Small system due to the weakening Active West pattern and transition to the Northern Pattern.  Hit in all 3 cycles for Utah and Colorado

June 5-6 AR 4th Straight for Seattle?



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