Clouds today will keep the highs below average but will also keep the lows tonight above average again as they hold in daytime heating. Monday night we have clear skies and temps cold enough to make snow up to around 7000 ft. and then inversions will make it possibly too warm above that elevation.
We may not even need snowmaking if we can get the full potential out of the storm coming next weekend. Confidence is increasing daily in a significant snow event. You should see the winds pick up as early as Thursday as the cold air mass moves down the coast from Alaska. This is the Arctic outbreak merging with the jetstream I started talking about 2 weeks ago "Looking very interesting for mid-month with the possibility of an Arctic plunge down the West Coast that could merge with the jestream right into CA." The GFS model was amazing at catching this 3 weeks out. The GFS has been very consistent with this storm and now the other models are falling in line including the Euro.
We start with the cold front moving through on Friday which brings the first round of snow and drops the snow levels to Reno. That means all snow down to the Village for opening day! Then the main low moves down the coast through the weekend and keeps the snow going with a constant flow of moisture off the ocean. The snow could last into Monday. With highs in the 20's on the mountain and a prolonged period of snow we could see the snow really pile up to significant amounts. The question will be the exact track down the coast of the low. A little to our West we could be talking a few shin deep powder days to start the season. A track over us could mean enough snow to open the entire mountain. When was the last time that happened opening weekend?
Below is the NCEP precip forecast for next weekend. The purple is 3-5 feet of snow and the dark blue is 2-3 feet. This in my opinion is an extremely optomistic best case scenario, but it shows the potential the storm has. Right now I am thinking a general 1-2 feet on the mountain is a safe bet. That would still be a significant November storm. We are still 5-6 days away so lots of fine tuning to do throughout the week.
The storm door stays open and the weekend after Thanksgiving the ridge moves out to a nice spot at 160w in the Pacific. The wild card is the trough in the East. Models are split on whether the NAO goes negative and holds the trough in the East & ridge over the West, or it slides off the coast allowing another cold storm to hit CA the last weekend of the month. If we can get another storm in before the end of the month it could end up being the best November for snow in a long time. Stay tuned...... BA