There are so many examples of Recurring Pattern that happen each year. This is just another one of them. If you look at this present storm and then you look at the storm from 46 days ago they are almost identical. Meteorologists, climatologists, atmospheric scientists all miss this. We have cycles everywhere, oscillations, etc. and yet they still miss it. Why, it looks like it’s so easy? It’s not, it’s very subtle. Gary Lezak, a leading meteorologist on the subject, once said to me “the artist will see the pattern much faster than the scientist”. That is so true, it took me years just to convince Joel Gratz, of OpenSnow.com—and he’s still skeptical. Doug Heady, an incredible expert and Founder in this field says, I’m paraphrasing, even when you know the cycle length, there is so many variables that go into each and every storm. That’s why it’s so hard to understand. Someday though it will be understood and modeled.
Ok so let’s dive in. Look at these two pictures. The flow, the storm, the ridging all match. Now this doesn’t happen very often. But when it does it makes you understand that the cycles can set up the same.
The flow is signified in blue, the red squiggly lines are the ridges, and the green circle is the particular wave, or storm coming on shore. In the December snapshot you can see right where the polar vortex is going to go. Fits right into the puzzle. When you look back to the teleconnections in December and look at the teleconnections today, they are similar. When all the variables lineup the same the outcome is the same—roughly.
The storm that I have forecasted for February 18th is on the way. The last few storms have been trending about 12 hours early, that is because the cycle length is about 45.8 days and we are in the tail end of cycle 3.
Here is an update on the bombcyclone, back on January 1 I posted that the bomb cyclone that was hitting Alaska at the Aleutian Islands would return on Presidents’ Day. Well it’s Presidents’ Day and the storm is right on time. Not a bomb cyclone this time but a nice low. It’ll come back around April 3.
We just correctly predicted 2 storms one 18 days and the other 31 days in advance. How did we do it? The weather is cycling. It repeats. Not every storm—some are wildcards, but there are the main parts of energy get entangled in the pattern and return regularly until summer. We have 3 predictions presently. Christmas Eve, New Year’s, and Tahoe with more to come.
Our predictions have been spot on. On November 14th, we said our first 2 storms would be on December 4th and December 17th with a variance of 2 days. We have adjusted the timeline and have reduced the +/- of 1 day for future storms. The Dec 4 system was about a day and a half early and so was the incoming Dec 17 Storm.
Our next prediction is the Christmas Eve storm. This one is right on schedule as I believe we have locked in on the cycle length. This storm is still days out but I believe the GFS has the right solution. Click the “Welcome to Future Snow“ button from the menu to learn about cycle length and the recurring pattern.
Finally, our most recent predictions are the New Years Eve Storm for British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon and the Tahoe Powder Day January 3rd. I will keep you updated on these systems. The picture of the Christmas Eve storm is a snapshot of the 500 mbar pattern with vorticity and wind. This level in the atmosphere makes it easier to spot the recurring systems. In the picture below, this is what it looked like the last time it came through.
Now remember the Dec 24 pic is still over a week out from what it will actually look like, but this is how we use computer models to verify what we know will happen. In the frame above there is that secondary wave that follows the large wave. The last time through that secondary wave sent powder alerts to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and just skirted Northern Colorado. This time through the secondary wave is being gobbled up by the ridge that is establishing. We are in the second cycle of this year‘s pattern. Remember, it begins in October and it sets up in August and September. Once we have logged the first two cycles, we can make solid predictions for the rest of the winter. Because what happens in two cycles is almost guaranteed to repeat in every cycle afterwards. So we will lock in on the big storms, and will keep an eye on the ones that hit once, or seemed to have some variability. The first cycle was definitely stronger than the second cycle (it ain’t over yet). Typically every other cycle mirrors each other, but every years weather pattern is unique so there is now guarantee. This years cycle “winners” are Western Canada and Pacific Northwest. So if you like to chase, that’s the place to go this year. I expect Colorado to have average to above average precipitation this year, but I admit I don’t like the trend that we are in.
We are back to the active part of the pattern, after the refresh of snow the southern mountains of Colorado, like Wolf mountain are at or above average and northern mountains like summit county are below average. The central mountains are in the 90’s.