We’ve had one atmospheric river (AR), roll through the Pacific NW (Wed/Thu). It’s been a mixed blessing. Yes, it definitely feels like fall/winter, but you can feel the mild air too - 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 on the menu for Saturday. This roller coaster pattern of snow level (SL) 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 (2000-3000 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 new snowpack we have in place. The precip may start as snow, then change to rain. The limited snowpack is about a trace to about a foot (est.) above 4,000ft (middle and upper slopes). Some of the shallow snow pack will melt by early Sunday with rain on snow - SL 7,000 ft. Snow 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 4,000ft. Alpine snow will pile up in the gullies.
After that a couple of dry days early in the week, 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 is working it’s magic (directing the atmospheric circulation) to keep 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. When a La Nina storm cycle starts unloading - ya gotta go!
Whistler on thur afternoon - Roundhouse
Meteorologist Open Snow NW
Snow Angels – fundraiser for Crystal mountain volunteer ski patrol/avalanche dogs Saturday – Oct 28.
I 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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