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Possible Trifecta Next Week?

By October 18, 2023No Comments

Posted October 16, 2023

Storm Hits PNW Sunday, Utah Monday, Colorado Monday Night

23-24 Cycle Length Verifying

This storm is still quite a way out, but it should be there, according to the Pattern.  I have this year’s cycle length and it is verifying.  The 06z GFS today, of the previous model runs, has a good grip on the actual pattern. 

The 06z GFS model run is an operational run, meaning it uses less data from soundings and fixed positions to forecast.  I use this model quite a lot because to me it shows the pattern better but is less reliable.  

2 Systems–Possible Trifecta

A weak wave (system 1) will come through the Pacific Northwest early Monday morning and will slide southeast hitting Utah before the lifts open, check that, I’m getting a little ahead of myself there…….early morning.  Colorado sometime around Tuesday.  Then a stronger storm (system 2) hits the PNW overnight Wednesday taking the same track hitting Utah in the afternoon Thursday and Colorado Thursday night. 

There is a wildcard here (system 3).  There is a hurricane brewing near Baja California and the current track takes it through west Texas by Wednesday.  There is a trough that will be digging its way through at the same time.  These two systems may converge causing enhanced precipitation to northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. 

This could give Taos and southern Colorado a lot of moisture, but will temperatures be favorable for a good dump?  Below is the projected temperature forecast for the timeframe.  We will monitor the situation as this could be an epic dump for Wolf Creek.

Again, it is a long way off and we are reliant on the models at this time.  Below is the 500 mb view of the three systems.

Pattern Discussion (from Monday)

This time of year, I spend most of my time pouring through charts and spreadsheets attempting to verify the new cycle length.  It is an arduous process that takes hours upon hours, only to be wrong and have to start over.  Take last year for example, I was sure the cycle length was 44 days.  Everything lined up except, I was 6 days off, or, one harmonic. 

Above is a wave diagram that represents a 50-day harmonic.  A harmonic of the cycle length is simple division.  Such as, a half harmonic is 25 days, 1/4 harmonic is 12.5 days, and an 1/8 harmonic is 6.25 days.  The Y axis (vertical) represents the flow, and the X axis represents the length (days).  

Imagine, instead of days on the X axis, you have a list of storms that encompass the entire cycle.  Let’s say there are 18 storms in a 50-day cycle that very in strength from weak (5), to average (8) to strong (5).  The frequency between the storms is pretty regular, because there are 18 systems in 50 days, or a storm a little less than 3 days (2.77).  The weak storms and the big storms are scattered throughout the 18.  

If you are off by a harmonic, the order in which the storms occur is similar with the type of pattern we had, but the placement of the big storms and the weak storms would be off.  That is what happened early last year.  I was harmonically right on the cycle length, but the true cycle length did not become evident until later.  I am trying hard to not let that happen again this year.

Snow Circulation

The snow is generally falling in the higher latitudes right now, dropping occasionally, like last week’s storm.  With last week’s storm dropping 6+ inches at numerous locations throughout the PNW, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, the season has started a little earlier than last year.  For Utah, this is their second storm.  Their first was October 3rd where Alta had 9″.  Last year the first significant storm was October 21-22. 

Usually, the first big snowfall doesn’t have much significance, other than the fact that it gets us thinking about hitting the slopes.  Last year, however, the first widespread western snowfall accounted for 65 inches, over 5 cycles, for Alta–or a little over 7 % of their total snowfall (904). 

That first storm for Utah was their biggest producer all season, safe to say we’ll be watching the significance of this year’s first storm and see how it measures up to last years.  Below, a look back to that storm.

October 22, 2022


First Storm Pics 2023 (via webcams and Facebook)


Long Range Model Projections (30 day)

These are generally just for fun; beyond 2 weeks the model projections significantly lose reliability.  We monitor the models and can tell when they are correct and when they are off.  The only way to know the long-range forecast beyond two weeks is right here–FutureSnow.  

Vail Beaver Creek


Mammoth Lake Tahoe


Alta Utah


Monarch Colorado

Possible Hurricane Dates (prediction date May 19th)

Below are the updated predictions for possible hurricanes using our long-range prediction formula.  

Aug 12-17 Pacific Storm—–Verified Hurricane Hilary

Aug 30-Sept 6 Florida—–Verified Hurricane Idalia

Sept 26-Oct 3 Florida (added Sept 4th)

Sept 27- Oct 5 Hawaii

Sept 30-Oct 3rd Yucatan

Sept 30-Oct 5 Pacific Storm

Oct 4-12 Possible Return of Hilary—-Verified Hurricane Lidia


You can find the original post May 19th, and all Hurricane posts on this page—most recent posts appear first.



Thanks for reading the blog!  If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at Mike@FutureSnow.cow

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