- Sunny and cool weather continues through next Tuesday. Highs in the 50's. - The pattern begins to change next week. As early as Wednesday we could start to see moisture push into the region. We could see several systems bring some snow to the area through Thanksgiving weekend. - In the long-range, the models are split on whether or not the pattern remains active.
The Ikon Pass
Short Term Forecast
The ski resorts have been taking every hour of snowmaking opportunity possible to blow snow the past 2 weeks. It's a slow process without help from mother nature. There will be 3 more mountains opening this weekend with a trail or two to ski on.
Heavenly Ski Resort 11/14/18
Not much terrain to fit people on, but the good news is that we got the colder air and none of the projected opening dates have been pushed back yet. We may only have to wait another week for mother nature to kick in and help.
I was all gung-ho yesterday morning to start talking about storms next week. I was going to say that I would start looking at snowfall details today. But then, just before I posted, I saw the 12z GFS run... Then the 18z run, both of which were having trouble breaking down the ridge and had no storms next week. So I had to slam on the brakes.
The Canadian and European runs were consistent with the storms and the GFS ensemble runs still had them as well, so I knew those were likely throw away GFS model runs. Now we have the last 3 runs of the GFS model back on track with the storms for next week.
Now that we are within the 7-day window it is time to start looking at the details of the storms. The problem is that the details are still all over the place between the models. As of this morning, The Canadian and European forecast models have the first storm Wednesday night into Thursday and a 2nd for Thursday night into Friday. That is what the GFS was saying yesterday before it flipped dry. The latest GFS model runs have only one storm Thursday night into Friday.
The GFS model is slowing the arrival of the initial trough pushing in as it encounters the ridge. The other models have this initial trough as a weaker system and then a stronger storm moves in behind that. Either way, we now have consistency on the model runs with a breakdown of the ridge by the middle of next week that should open the door to several systems through Thanksgiving weekend.
Here is a look at the trough fully established over the West Coast by the end of next week on the GFS ensemble mean run.
Here is the first storm moving in next Friday on the GFS.
An initial look at the total precipitation forecast shows light-moderate amounts of precip possible.
The European and Canadian model solutions showing a storm moving in Wednesday night and Thursday night would be a much wetter scenario.
We are exactly a week out from these storms. Without the agreement on the timing, and the number of storms that hit Wed-Fri next week, I want to wait another day before I start trying to look at any initial snowfall estimates. Let's see if the models can get more in alignment over the next 24 hours. Looking at early snow level estimates, they are around 7,000 feet, possibly lower if the precip is heavier.
If you are an All-Access member you can see the snowfall showing up in the forecast for the ski resorts for several days next week. That is being autogenerated by our computer that uses the ensemble mean runs. I will start to hand enter the forecasts once we get the storms rolling so that they match these discussions.
Where the forecast models do agree is Thanksgiving weekend. They are all showing a final storm moving in over the weekend. They also have it as a slightly colder storm. Beyond a week I like to just look at the pattern, so the pattern looks good for another storm that weekend.
Looking beyond 10 days, the pattern looks like it begins to change again, with a ridge building in the Northeast Pacific. The ensemble mean runs suggest the storms continue, possibly breaking under the ridge into CA. The pattern starts to look more and more like it could for much of this Winter season.
What are you doing this weekend? Every year Snowbomb puts on ski shows to help you get geared up for season. There is only 1 show left! It's this Saturday & Sunday in Sacramento. I'm planning to be on Saturday to hang out with everyone and talk weather.
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