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Tuesday October 7th 2014 10:43pm

OpenSnow Headlines

- Winter Snow Outlook

- Weak El Nino ahead

- Expect new Cascade snow mid to upper slopes by mid October

 

The Inside Story

First, El Nino is not the snow catastrophe everyone thinks it is for the NW. This year's signal is weak and so might be the effects.

It does mean a lower than normal snow pack in the end for the Cascades (10-15%), with almost no impact for Whistler. The snow deficiency may be a bit more pronounced for interior BC into Banff. Bachelor has no significant El Nino signal; so don’t sweat it in Central Oregon. Hood may see less snow at the lower elevations. Sun Valley could feel a bit of a snow squeeze too, but they have fantastic snowmaking, so no worries.

The reality is it doesn’t matter that much. Even when the NW snowpack is a tad below normal, it’s still much better than most areas of the world. In addition, there are no guarantee’s – there have been El Nino’s without snow issues. Plus I’ll be directing you to the goods via Open Snow, so sit down and buckle up – don’t make me stop this car and come back there.

In addition weather forecasters know there are different confidence levels to short and long rage forecasts and the winter ahead has low confidence in the signal, with a weak El Nino.A strong El Nino would be a different story There will be no betting on this one.

More to come when the snow flies - expect upper slope snowfall by the middle of next week.

Your Grand Poobah of Powder,
Lawrence J Schick
Snow Meteorologist 

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Sunday April 20th 2014 9:58pm

Northwest snow season wrap up.

 

This will be the final NW Open Snow ski weather update from me, for the 2013-14 season. 

On this date (April 20) several NW areas remain open and several will stay open through May. If you want classic spring skiing in late April and May I favor Mt Baker, Crystal (weekends), Whistler and Bachelor. There is limited skiing at Whistler and Mt Hood - Timberline through summer. Call for details.

It was a strange snow year for the NW, with a slow start and near record low snowpack by Christmas continuing into early February.  The North Cascades (Mt Baker) of Washington and Whistler faired better, while Oregon was stuck on the edge of the California record drought. A large, persistent and unusually configured high pressure diverted the storm track elsewhere  - like the Rockies and points eastward. By mid February into mid March the storm track took aim at the NW and the Cascade snow machine really got cranking. By April 1, and many powder days later, the snowpack climbed back to near normal in the Cascades.

Next season an El Nino may develop and that tilts the odds toward a lower than normal snow season for 2014 -15. BUT the suppressing snowfall effect is not as dramatic for the NW, as most people believe. The “signal” is really not that strong, but a 5-15% decrease in snowfall could be seen. Remember, you never know what month the bulk of the snowfall will come – look at this year. El Nino effects tend to be focused between mid December and early February. 

 

See ya next fall when the snow flies again.

 

larry

 

Larry Schick

 

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Friday April 18th 2014 7:32am

Friday and the weekend ahead:

Expect partly sunny skies today after a lowering snow level this morning to 3000ft. There has been a little snow ( 0 to few inches) this morning with  the lowering snow level. It will be a great day on the slopes – I think I’ll go.

Saturday will see some dry weather early, then thickening clouds with precipitation near lunchtime. The snow level will be on the rise to 5000ft by Saturday night. The snow level drops to 3000ft by Sunday morning with 1-4” of new and some clearing on Sunday.

Sunday will be another fun day on the slopes, with partial clearing.

--larry

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Friday April 11th 2014 6:38am

I have high confidence, blue skies and spring sking will rule this weekend for the NW. High presure will build in to produce this sunny and warm weather pattern. Don't forget your shades and sunscreen.

larry

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Monday April 7th 2014 6:38am

Open Snow Planner

Mostly sunny today - spring is here!

Little rain/snow mix late Tuesday

More sun late week

Inside Story

High pressure today will mean a spring day of skiing. It has been mild; so the snow may be a bit grabby, especially lower slopes. The dry weather will continue into early Tuesday. Late Tuesday into early Wednesday, a weak system will produce mainly rain lower slopes and a snow / rain mix upper slopes with a 6000ft SL. Then the weather will dry out again, with more sunshine and spring skiing later in the week, into the weekend.

Looking Ahead

Expect to ski in the sun by later Wednesday into the weekend with high pressure moving in. Sunscreen and sunglasses recommended. 

 

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