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Forecast Blog

PNW Today as the Lake Digs Out

By March 2, 2023No Comments

Sugar Bowls front page says it all…..

Daily Snow Stake


Surface Chart Infrared

GFS Surface thru March 11

All Snow GFS

Pattern Summary

We are in Cycle 4 of this year’s cycling pattern and what a start to the cycle.  In the Wasatch, Alta and Snowbird received storm totals of 3 feet and 8-day totals of 57″.  Brighton is the winner with 82 inches in the last 8 days.  In the Sierra, back-to-back 38’s at Palisades with nearly 150 inches in the past week.  The pattern has been amplified, due to an alignment of teleconnections and the strength of the jet stream.  I will give an over simplified version of what these connections mean.  Check them out below.

When we have the Artic Oscillation (AO) and the North American Pattern (NAO) in the negative, it’s like adding fuel to the fire.  We get cold air from troughs that develop, and no blocking from an area of High pressure, off the coast of California.  When the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is in the proper phase, we get extra moisture, or more fuel, from tropical waters.

All of these connections have met in a confluence of heavy snow.  California has Utah like dry snow, due to the cold air.  That will ski great when the resorts open, likely today with limited operations.  Lake Tahoe will have back-to-back bluebird days until the next system arrives Saturday, so get it before it spoils!

Long Range Forecast Chart

We are presently 58 for 61 or 95% accurate for the season and have 73 total predictions on the chart.  I did not set out to make 100 predictions this year, but that sounds like a good number to shoot for.  Hopefully we can keep this going and keep our percentage in the 90’s. The next set of predictions will be out soon.

A little history, which you can access under the Predictions tab above.  In 20-21, we made 50 predictions and were 43 of 50, or 86%.   In 21-22, we made 45 predictions and were 40 of 45, or 88.9%.  It is really hard to believe this is real.   Such a small group of people know about it.  Someday, this method will change weather forever and you are the first to see the future.  

Forecast Summary

We have snow in the Pacific Northwest that will continue throughout the day and take a southeast track through Utah Friday and Colorado by Friday night.  This is not a big system, and I don’t think the models have a good solution on the totals just yet, so stay tuned. 

The storm that follows, storm 59 on the chart, is bigger and will dive down into the Sierra and slide over to Utah and Colorado on the heels of the first system.  This will be another huge storm for Lake Tahoe. Below is the 7-day storm totals.

Pacific Northwest


Expect snow throughout the day with a few breaks in between bands.  Temperatures will be in the upper 20’s for both the northern and southern Cascades.  Winds will be strong, in the upper 20-30 mph with gusts in the 50’s at base level.  Ridgetop winds in the 70-s.


Snow continues through tomorrow night before the center of the storm slides down the BC coast.  We get a little relieve with the winds, slowing to 20-25 mph with gusts in the low 30’s.  

Saturday- Sunday

The storm continues to churn down the coast.  Temperatures will be in the mid 20’s.

Lake Tahoe

Bluebird skies today and tomorrow with temperatures in the upper 30’s at base level.   The first wave will miss, but the second wave from the Pacific Northwest will be arriving on Friday night.  Expect heavy snow on Saturday around mid-morning.  Totals will be likely be between 2-4 feet.




It will be a beautiful day with temperatures in the low 20’s with light winds between 5-10 mph.  The next system moves in late tomorrow night and is a fast mover.  Not much expected until tomorrow morning.  Expect 3-5 at base level with 4-8 up top for Snowbird, Alta, Snowbasin and Brighton.  About half of that, if we’re lucky, for Solitude, Deer Valley and Park City.

Next System Saturday Morning

I don’t have confidence in the model totals yet, I will keep an eye on the next couple of runs and will issue the projections tomorrow.  The last time through this storm produced double digit numbers.  We will see if the trend continues.



Today will be a bluebird to partly sunny day for most of Colorado.  Temperatures in the upper 20’s to low 30’s with light winds 5-10 mph. 


The next system moves in late tonight or early tomorrow morning for western and northern Colorado.  Not much accumulation until Friday early morning.


Storm gets cranking early Friday morning for western and northern Colorado resorts.  Expect 4-8 for Steamboat, 3-5 for Winter Park and 2-4 for Vail/Beaver Creek.  I am not expecting much for the central and southern mountains.  Generally, 0-3.  I would not be surprised if Crested Butte and Wolf pull off 2-4.  They seem to be above the curve this year, with the models not having a grasp on their totals.

I will have official forecast totals tomorrow.  



Spring Break/March Calendars

We posted our spring break forecast, thru April 1st on yesterday’s blog, in calendar format.  It is pretty simple to use, the dark blue squares are probable storms, and the light blue squares are 60% chance, meaning if we have enhanced teleconnectivity, there will be extra waves, or more snow!  




Forecasted Areas

Pacific Northwest Cascade Mountains

Crystal MountainMount Hood MeadowsTimberline49 Degrees North,  BachelorMt Baker,

Lake Tahoe Sierra Mountains

HeavenlyPalisades TahoeKirkwoodDodge RidgeDonner Ski Ranch

Utah Wasatch Mountains

AltaPark CityDeer ValleyBrightonSnowbirdBrian Head

Colorado Rocky Mountains

AspenAspen HighlandsSnowmassVailBeaver Creek,  Winter ParkKeystoneArapahoe BasinBreckenridgeCopper MountainPowderhornSki CooperTellurideCrested ButteSilvertonWolf CreekEldoraLoveland


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