COVID-19: NM shelter in place order and relief efforts
All New Mexico ski areas are closed for the season. New Mexico is under a public health emergency shelter in place order effective March 24 at 8 am. You can read about the new regulations here.
While not explicitly stated, it is reasonable to interpret the new order such that uphill access, touring, and backcountry skiing are not essential and thus prohibited. For example, Ski Santa Fe published a letter to the public "requesting that skiers, hikers, and others NOT recreate with-in the permit area of Ski Santa Fe."
In an effort to help support COVID-19 relief efforts, OpenSnow has created a resource for local foundations that are deploying funds to directly respond to the most vulnerable members of our mountain communities.
I will continue to post weather forecasts for informational purposes and to provide a source for positive news.
We are all in this together. Together we will get through this. And our beloved mountains will be here with us when we do.
Turning to the forecast: Have to squint to find the next sign of snow...
We've been discussing for a while now that the pattern for early April is looking dry and warm with the main storm track far to our north. Well, that could be an understatement.
First, let's check in on our NOAA GOES satellite friend to see how the water vapor view is looking from outer space.
Some high wispy clouds streaming up over the desert southwest but no precipitation is associated with this moisture. The main jet stream is over the Pacific Northwest and snow is falling over Montana. Now notice the fierce-looking cyclonic spin in the far upper left corner south of Alaska? This is our next chance of snow in the northern mountains around April 7-8.
The animation loop below shows the latest GFS forecast model from March 31 through April 11. With the exception of one southern dip, the main atmospheric flow and precipitation (greens=rain, blues=snow) remains to the north. Notice that New Mexico gets a light glance around April 4-5 and an indirect hit around April 7-8 (big cyclonic system in satellite above), but other than that, we look high and dry.
The GFS and Canadian Ensemble snowfall forecasts through April 16 agree with this meager outlook.
In my next post on Thursday, April 2, I will take a look at our season snowfall through March and analyze how it compares with past years through the same date.
Stay safe and healthy. ¡Que viva Nuevo Mexico!
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