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Winter is Back to the PAC Tomorrow

By April 2, 2022No Comments

Crystal Mountain Resort

Pattern Discussion

Nine days remaining for the Northern Pattern before we return to the Active West.  This next storm for Crystal Mountain, Mt Baker, Stevens Pass, Mt Hood and the rest of the PNW ski resorts is one of the better storms in the Northern Pattern.  Each time producing an atmospheric river (AR).  However, each time this storm came through in Cycle 1 and 2, it was too warm to make deep powder.

Most of you reading this time of year are die-hards, like me, and if you have been following along you understand the cycling pattern.  Before this season, I had suspicions that ARs were predictable events, just like my colleagues Gary Lezak, Doug Heady, and others, use the Cycling Pattern to predict tornado outbreaks and hurricanes.  Side Note, last year, FutureSnow accurately predicted Hurricane Ida in April–you can find that article here. So, with that ability to predict tornados and hurricanes, I wasn’t surprised that this particular AR repeated, I am surprised that it has for the 3rd time in a row!  No way that is a fluke.  So, lets dive in.

In Cycle 1, November 27th, there was an atmospheric river (AR) that extended over a thousand miles off the coast. Snow levels were at 12,000 ft, Seattle high temp of 54 that day, so all rain with over 1.5 inches.  

Cycle 2, January 28th, again warm, another AR event, it was the backside of this storm that Mt Baker received 12, Whistler 10, Crystal 8 Mt Hood 8.

This time through, we have all of the elements to create a large dump, with another AR.  We have cold air with falling snow levels Sunday night, base level highs at freezing, or below, at Whistler Blackcomb, Crystal, Stevens, and as far south as Mt. Hood Timberline and Meadows.  We should be measuring snow totals in feet, not inches.

Look at the next series of charts and videos, you can clearly see the atmospheric rivers stretching out during each cycle.  Also, watch the path of the storms, where it enters CONUS and exits.

Next, check out the GFS loop for today through April 18th.  You can clearly see the northern pattern transitions back to the Active West (the 3rd storm with the U-Shape).


The show begins tomorrow night in the Pacific Northwest. Heavy snow and certain Winter Storm Warnings Sunday night for the Cascade mountains up to Whistler Blackcomb. Below is the expected snow totals.  We will update this page tomorrow morning.

Prediction Chart Updated 88.4% Accurate (Avg lead time 29 days out)

We predict storms for many different regions to prove our theory.  We have made 43 predictions this year 38/43, or 88.4 percent accurate.  We made a calculation error with our second set of predictions that cost us our perfect record.  We also had a minor calculation error that we call a “technical bust”, which I would love to count because that would get us to 90.7 %, beating last year’s average of 90.2%.  The technical bust was still a bust, those things will happen–88.4 is still unheard of for long range forecasts, so we will take it.

We have one more storm on the chart left for April 16-18.  That storm is showing up on the GFS and is trending early.  We will keep an eye on it, the models do have the proper path we will see with the timing.


Once we get into April and past the transition storm on April 11 (PNW) 12-13 (Utah, Colorado), we get to the first storm of the Active West April 17-18.  Keep in mind as I am talking about these storms that the first date is for the PNW, so if you are in Colorado, generally, the storm will begin a day later. 

The transition storm is followed by the Trifecta, cycle days 11-16 (April 20-26).  The Trifecta was squashed, last cycle, by the double-barrel High pressure off the coast and Nevada last time thru.  I doubt that will happen again, but I was crushed the last time.  If it comes thru like it should, it should be a huge storm to close out most resorts season.  The next storm April 28-30 to close out the month.  Now this storm, in Cycle 2 was the big AR event in Tahoe that had over a hundred inches in 5 days.  We can dream.


Thanks for reading the blog, as always, if you have questions send me an email to or leave a comment below..

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