If you love warm and sunny skiing get out there on Friday and Saturday as we will see temps into the 50's in a lot of areas. It is ahead of a big pattern shift we have been waiting for and forecasting to come after mid-month. There will be a system on Sunday that will move into the Pacific NW and will help to flatten the ridge over the West. We may see some wind and cooler temperatures into Monday.
Then on Tuesday as the ridge off the coast retrogrades toward Hawaii a cold trough will drop down from the Gulf of Alaska. This storm will not a have a lot of moisture but it will have a lot of cold air which can be just as good. The snow will start during the day on Tuesday with the cold front and snow showers lasting into Wednesday. The snow ratios will be high with this storm with temperatures dropping into the teen and 20s.
The forecast models are all a little wetter this morning. Looking at the potential snow ratios with the cold air and the amount of liquid forecast this morning Tuesday through Wednesday we can get a rough idea of the snowfall accumulations. Base level looks to be in the 6-12 inch range, and 12-18 inches on the mountain. These are still early number that we will have to fine tune over the next few days.
The ridge looks like it is going to sit out around 150w through the next 1-2 weeks with a trough along the West Coast. That will allow storms to dive in from the NW off the Pacific every 2-3 days. The next system will approach next Thursday into Friday with another next weekend. Looking at the long-range models that trend looks to cotinue. None of the storms look big over the next 2 weeks as they are not tapping any deep moisture from across the Pacific, but they are cold and consistent.
Towards the end of week 2 the forecast models are hinting at the ridge setting up South of the Aleutians which would setup a pattern for bigger storms.
Winter is far from over so get ready for more powder days. BA