A lot going on in the weather world right now. I was trying to think of what to post today and it started looking really long. I'm going to just touch a little on the weather we have been seeing, the rest of the month, and little about the upcoming season. I have some data I put together on temperature and snowfall trends, but I'll wait to post that later in the week so check back.
I love tracking hurricanes almost as much as snowstorms. Growing up on the coast I was always amazed by the power of the ocean in big storms. After a decade without conditions in the Atlantic and Pacific to allow a train of strong hurricanes to form, mother nature is making up for it with a big show right now.
Meanwhile in the West we have had a hot summer which has continued through the past week. Here is a look at the forecast from a week ago that shows the pattern we have seen over most of the summer. A hot West and Cool Eastern U.S.
I bought a business this year on the Jersey Shore that will allow me to work there in the Summer and then spend more time in the Winter focused on opensnow and on forecasting and being on mountain for reports. It was not the best summer to be in business on the East Coast as it was a cold and rainy summer in contrast to the hot dry West, which is normally how it works, opposites on the coasts. We averaged 1 degree below average over the summer and 160% of average rainfall.
There is an area of low pressure moving South to North over CA this week. That could bring some thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday. It will also bring a dramatic drop in temperatures with highs only in the 60's by midweek and 50's in the higher elevations. So be prepared if you are hiking.
The extreme heat may be over as we head into the Fall. troughs will start to move through to our North as we head into the Fall and the jet stream begins to strengthen. In September we only average 2 inches of snowfall on Donner Summit at 7000', but we usually will look for the first snow and dustings on the peaks. In the long-range I'm watching a trough passage around the 20th that could possibly bring some precip from the Northwest. Will keep watching that.
As usual this time of year we have been watching the ENSO region of the Pacific to see if we will have an El Nino or La Nina. The forecast models were opposing all Summer with some showing El Nino and other La Nina. There has been a lot of cooling of the sea surface temps the last few weeks in that area along the equator and it is starting to look more likely that we could see at least a weak La Nina.
Also watching the sea surface temperatures off the West Coast. Right now they are below average with the above average water further off the coast near Hawaii.
It's too early to know what the setup will be by Winter but we will continue to watch the forecast and the actual temps. An early look is leaning towards a pattern that could bring a colder Winter with colder and drier storms than last year dropping down from the Gulf of Alaska. We had a weak La Nina last year, but also a strong high up near the Aleutians that suppressed the jet stream South into CA that may not be there this Winter. We will have a better idea as we get closer.
Not many forecast outlets putting out their Winter forecasts quite yet. NOAA is showing an extremely safe "equal chances" for above and below average precip for the entire West. In October we will see a lot more forecasts coming out. Here is a look at an early forecast from Weatherbell which seems to be trending in the right direction given the current trend of the sea surface temps.
In a La Nina season we do tend to be right in the middle between above and below average precip chances historically, same with El Nino. I would take a cold Winter with average snowfall.
I will start posting more consistently now at least once a week with updates and interesting data.
Stay tuned, and enjoy the exciting weather!... BA
P.S. Here is an interesting cause a reader sent me, in case you are interested... http://www.thepetitionsite.com/325/224/038/name-a-ski-run-after-martin-hollay/?taf_id=41397767&cid=fb_na#bbfb=964493304
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