The 4th cycle is under way. At the beginning of each cycle the storms favor the Pacific Northwest and Canada. This has occurred in each of the previous three cycles and GFS verifies same for the beginning of this cycle. The cycle is 45 1/2 to 45.8 days in length. I have adjusted the upcoming predictions by a couple of days to correct this offset.
When talking about the cycle, every year is different. Last year had a longer cycle, La Nina favors shorter cycles. Presently this La Niña is weakening, the Arctic Oscillation is neutral, the north Atlantic Oscillation is neutral, and the Madden Julian Oscillation is in phase 7 in the western pacific. All of these tele-connections influence the strength and path of storms. However, the framework, or structure of the storm path, remains the same throughout the spring and it weakens in the summer until it is wiped out in late summer.
February 27th Colorado Prediction
This forecasted storm was made on January 26th as I dove back into the history of the previous cycles. I missed this “pattern storm” and discovered it through a little forensic analysis.
Historyof the storm
Day 6 of last cycle, a small wave hit Colorado, followed by a large wave impacting the PNW. In cycle 2, again a small wave hit Colorado followed by a small wave hitting the PNW. In cycle 1 on day 7 a small wave hit CO followed by a large wave in the PNW. So when I decided to add this to the prediction grid I decided to add it on day 7, probably not a smart choice because it hit on day 6 twice but my thinking was it hit late on 6 both times and the day 7 storm it was during the day. The GFS has this storm arriving at about 6 am on Thursday the 25th. This is actually right on time—if I would have been “on it” and adjusted the cycle length to reflect the uneven cycle (45 1/2-45.8 days).
I have adjusted all future predictions by 2 days to correct the cycle to match the storm cycles. I am not going to update the existing storm forecast for February but the March schedule has been adjusted. Below us the updated predictions spreadsheet.
We are in the part of the pattern where the Heady/LRC becomes clear. We have completed 2 cycles and have compiled 92 days (1,152 GFS snapshots) worth of data, snow totals from resorts and not to mention all of the data from August and September where the pattern developed. I am releasing Future Snows predictions out to March 12th, as well as the results from every prediction to date.
January 25-26 Let’s dive into the predictions for the upcoming storms. January 25-26 for Colorado. This prediction was made back on December 13th. This storm occurs on days 21-23 of each cycle. The first time through back on December 26 Vail received 10” snow and additional rain, the second time through 12”. January and February are usually the strongest producing cycles, so let’s hope in this La Niña year it comes through. When I compiled this report I added Utah resorts, specifically Alta for January 25-26. I don’t have resort need it for the first cycle, however it’s clear by GFS that they received precipitation. The second time through they get 15”. Lake Tahoe was missed the first cycle, but did receive snow on the second cycle. So I will give Lake Tahoe a “maybe” as they are on the edge of this year’s pattern.
The storm is for Utah resorts, specifically Alta February 7-8. Alta received 12” during the first cycle, and 20” during the second cycle. For Colorado resorts the first cycle kicked off a week of storms on days 34 through 41. Vail received 25” during that week with the southern resort of Wolf Creek 28” of powder over 3days. The second time through four Colorado resorts was not as productive. They’ll get a paltry 4” during the first wave and an additional 9” with the second wave. In past years, cycle three has been more like cycle 1, but stronger—let’s hope that continues but either way, it will be an active period. Lake Tahoe was missed on the first wave, but picked up 13 inches at Sugar Bowl on dates 36 and 37. Lake Tahoeyou get a strong maybe—I’ll give you a heads up if it appears the storm is big enough on the model runs.
February 18 –19
The February 18 storm kicks off in the Pacific Northwest. I added this storm January 3 which is 46 days out from this publication. The Pacific Northwest is getting the snow this year. The snow goes somewhere every year and obviously this year it’s PNW and Canada. In the first cycle Crystal Mountain received snow from days 41 through 46 of the pattern. The only reported Snowfall came on day 45 and 46 when they started recording at the resort (15”). During the second cycle over the same time period hey received 33”. It’s a safe bet that Valentine’s Day is when the storm will begin but the best days should be the 18-19th for Crystal Mountain.
Colorado Resorts. Cycle 4 storm on days 21-22 of the cycle. I’ll update this prediction after cycle 3.