It’s been a mixed bag with this latest atmospheric river (AR). Yes, it definitely feels like a big change, but you can feel the mild air too - air coming all the way from the subtropics. Yes, in the end, it cooled down, and we got snow on the upper slopes -- more than a few inches. But another warm, then cooler AR cycle is on it’s way.
The next AR is coming for Saturday. This roller coaster snow level (SL) pattern is typical in the fall. Each AR brings with it lots of rain/mild air from the southwest -- and usually starts with a high snow level (>6,000 ft). The good news is the snow level gradually lowers (3000-4000 or lower), after the AR moves along, dragging in cold air from the northwest, behind it. That is when the snow starts to pile up.
The warm sector of the AR on Saturday will produce rain on the shallow snowpack we have in place. But the pattern may start as snow, with temporary cold air in place. The limited snowpack is about a trace to about a foot (est.) above 5,000ft (middle and upper slopes). After the mild air comes in, it will be rain on snow and some of the very shallow snow pack will melt by early Sunday - SL 8,000 ft. The snowpack melting away will probably be a trace to a few inches. Then we will get new snow, to backfill, later Sunday, as cooler air brings the SL back down to 5,000ft.
After that a couple of dry days, then maybe new snow midweek.
I remain optimistic for an early opening - near or before Thanksgiving, as I see no blocking high setting up and La Nina seems to be working it’s magic (directing the atmospheric circulation) -- keeping the storm track aimed at us.
La Nina is our friend in the NW – we always have good winters (cool & snowy) in the NW with La Nina. The catch is: we never know when the bulk of the La Nina snow will come in – it’s never consistent month after month. I’ll see it when it sets up. When a La Nina storm cycle starts unloading - ya gotta go!
Below is Crystal (Thur pm), top of Green Valley ~ 6,500 ft 4-8" new
Open Snow NW -- Meteorologist
Snow Angels – fundraiser for Crystal mountain volunteer ski patrol/avalanche dogs Saturday – Oct 28.
I'll will be there for a presentation, meet with you, answer weather questions, etc.
October 28th at 192 Brewery in Kenmore, 6-9 p.m. Win skis from K2, Blizzard, J Skis/4FRNT, LibTech, and jackets from Outdoor Research. Food, beer, and prizes. Families welcome.
Fundraiser for the NW Avalanche Center
NW Snow and Avalanche Workshop
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