Monday, November 14, 2011

On Track for a White Thanksgiving Feast.....

The weather has become a little bit more mild this week with temps into the 40’s on the mountain, but the cold temperatures at night have still allowed for snowmaking to continue.  It still looks like we will have some fresh snow for opening weekend and then we could get a lot of snow for Thanksgiving weekend.  The global teleconnection patterns are setting up nicely and the ridge of high pressure out in the Pacific is set to begin its shifting back from 140w towards 150w and then further out to 160w next week.  That will broaden the trough off the West Coast and open the door to some bigger storms.  

The first storm that will get us started is associated with the strong cold front and it is set to move on Friday.  Over the past 24 hours though the weather models have developed a second storm that is dropping down out of the Gulf of Alaska behind the first one.  This storm looks like it will kick the first one inland over Washington or Oregon not allowing it to come further down the coast.  The further down the coast it comes the more moisture it can draw in off the ocean into our area.  The GFS weather model  shows a slightly drier scenario with the low coming in over Washington while the Euro model is wetter with the low coming in over Oregon.

The second storm responsible for pushing the first one inland is then projected to come down off the coast and then come inland just to our South.  The total precipitation through Saturday averaged out across all the weather models is around .25 - .75 inches of liquid.  This is a cold storm so snow ratios will increase a bit Friday night.  Currently it looks like a few inches are possible in the Village with several inches possible up on the mountain.  We still have a few days here to watch the exact track and how much moisture the storm can pull in.

As we go into next week the pattern looks become more established and more favorable as the Pacific ridge shifts further West in the Pacific allowing the trough to broaden off the West Coast.  Meanwhile a huge low moves into the Gulf of Alaska which would drive a cold front towards the West Coast and send the jetstream into CA around Wednesday or Thursday of next week.  I have been watching the global teleconnection forecasts point to this for a while now and the weather models have been showing it since last week.  When patterns like this setup in the Sierra they have been known to bring several feet of snow.

The pattern looks to hold for about a week with more big storms possible going into the final weekend of the month.  The pattern will also remain cold so behind each storm snowmaking should continue.  All this points to a continued growth of the base and the terrain over the next couple of weeks.  BA

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