NW Open Snow Headlines
((see answers to questions about Whistler below in discussion))
Snow is falling
No end in sight – storms from here to China
NW Open Snow Inside Story
The models have been consistent, forecasting a long stretch of unsettled weather ahead. Storms lined up across the Pacific and beyond – like a machine. It could last more than a week! I see one storm after another. Expect lots of precipitation. And lots of snow- we are talking feet, many feet – many, many feet of snow.
So what is the catch? You knew it couldn’t be a clean deal. So here the program:
I have high confidence this pattern will unfold. We’ll see of almost continuous storms, with minor breaks. I count nine on the last model run. The devil will be in the details. One issue will be timing. The first one is in progress. We’ll take one at a time. We may see some ice in the passes later tonight.
But I am dancing around the elephant in the room: snow level. Here what I see.
For the next ten days the snow level will be around 3500-4500ft, sometimes as low as 2500ft and as high as 5500ft. The upper slopes will be almost all snow and will be in fantastic shape when we are done – especially Whistler/Baker/interior BC/Crystal/Stevens/White/Hood/Bachelor. Crystal avy controlled sided country should be good. The Summit should get some snow, occasionally down low, but Alpental upper slopes should do well.
Whistler could see 1-2 meters of new snow in the alpine by mid month – maybe more. A meter is three feet. The CDN vs USD exchange rate is greatly in our favor. I am thinking about it. Early season lodging is really cheap. If the boss approves the time off, I am so gone. Sorry, you are on your own – I've got my priorities.
The middle elevation slopes (3500ft - 5000ft) of all areas will do very well, with occasional rain on snow, but not enough to hurt. Overall, expect a big improvement.The lower elevations (3000-4500ft) will end up with more snow than we have now, but with occasional rain on the new snow.
Right now, mild atmospheric river storms will nudge the snow level up on Monday, maybe again on Wednesday. Expect only brief (12hrs?) exposure to 5500ft snow levels, dropping after the short rise.
Watch for updates. I am plotting a field trip and snow survey for many days later next week, as the pattern unfolds.
Larry Schick -- Meteorologist
Open Snow NW Territory