Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Waited, Good Things Came........

This is what we have all been waiting for over the past 6 weeks. The big snow is finally at our doorstep.

Northstar picked up a coating of snow from the light snow showers in the pre-frontal moisture that we saw yesterday.

Not much change to the forecasted snow totals other than to start adding to them for Thursday and Friday. It's easy to look at a total precip map for the week and say what the grand total will be, but the tricky part is trying to break it down so you know how much powder will be on the slopes each morning. So let's break the storm down piece by piece.

Snow showers should move in this afternoon and evening as the cold front moves closer. Then tonight the heavy precip arrives and spills over the crest into all areas. By tomorrow morning we should see around 8-12 inches in the Village with 12-18 on the mountain. Then it continues to snow hard all day tomorrow with snowfall rates that could exceed 3 inches an hour. By tomorrow night snow totals should be 1-2 feet at in the Village and 2-3 feet on the mountain.

The biggest 24 hour reported snowfall this season so far was on Northstar was on the morning of 11/21 of 32 inches. The two day combined report for 11/20-11/21 was 48 inches. Let's see how this storm compares.

Then we have very cold air in place with a moist and unstable atmosphere Wednesday night through Thursday. Snow showers will continue off and on especially on the mountains into Thursday night. We will have snow ratios of 15-20:1 at the base and 20-30:1 at the summit, so the snow showers will pile up quickly. We could pick up another 6-12 inches by Friday morning bringing the totals to 1.5-2.5 feet in the Village with 2.5-4 feet on the mountain.

Then there is another low that spins down the coast on Friday. Models still don't have a handle on the exact track but the trend is to bring it closer to us. Friday into Saturday we could pick up another 6-12 inches from this storm. 5 day totals could be around 2-3+ feet at in the Village and 3-5 feet on the mountain. This is going to be very light and powdery snow so you may want to break out the snorkels.

Take a deep breathe because unlike November and December the fun is going to last longer than a week. Next week the storms look smaller and cold as the ridge is a little closer and the storms come down the coast with less over water trajectory to pick up moisture. Then the following week going into the first week of March the pattern points to a possible redevelopment of the ridge further West. That would allow them to dig again and pick up more moisture. It looks like the storm door should stay open into the beginning of March.

Stay tuned for updates on the storm.........BA

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