Sunday, December 22, 2013
About 2” on my deck this morning from about 9pm last night, although the Steamboat ski area reported 7.5” at mid and 8” up top on the morning report. A ridge over the Gulf of Alaska is forcing moist northwest flow over our area, and embedded waves will continue to produce light snow through today and most of tomorrow. One such wave is currently moving through the area, and another is timed for tonight, with both producing another 5-10” by the Monday morning report.
Snow showers may taper off by the end of the day Monday before beginning again early Tuesday as the last wave in this series passes over the area midday. Only light snow is expected, and the fast movement of this last wave should only produce 1-3” by Wednesday morning’s report.
Warming and drying should commence Christmas Day and last into Thursday, though valleys become noticeably colder than the hill as inversions reform and strengthen. A dry and weak wave grazes our area on Friday, producing some clouds and slightly lower temperatures. Weather will turn nice again for at least the first part of the weekend before another storm is forecast around Sunday.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Well, another great afternoon of skiing! Friday afternoon was good as well, with about 6” of fresh snow in the favored areas of the hill, and about another 3” was added by this afternoon in the Priest Creek drainage. The upper half of Shadows skied soft and flowy, but the lower half had some crunchies underneath from the warm spell a few days ago. Skiing the northwest aspects minimized the crunchiness to some extent, but even the shaded areas of Lower Shadows was difficult skiing in the sparsely tracked snow.
The 3 O’Clock trees to the skier’s right of the trail was sparsely skied and in great condition. Be careful above Duster as there are still rocks sticking through in the southern aspects, and they are easily avoided by traversing left back to the open trail.
The Sundown lifline was tons of fun as well. Still sparsely skied, but soft and bouncy rhythmic turns were easy to execute in the forgiving snow. Same for Kuus’s Cruise underneath the old Priest Creek chair. It was snowing as the lifts closed down for the afternoon, so be sure to check the ski report in the morning for the likely powder day tomorrow.
Friday, December 20, 2013
I had about 2” on my deck this morning, and light snow has persisted this morning. The Steamboat ski area is reporting 4” new as of 11am this morning, and I would expect another inch or two before a break in snowfall occurs tonight. We did get that overrunning event last night which brought snow a bit earlier than I anticipated.
Models have trended a bit stronger with the next wave timed for Saturday afternoon into the night, and possibly another one for Sunday morning. Snow should increase throughout the day with an inch or two by the time the lifts close. Of course, that will be reported in Sunday morning’s report, so with that I would expect 4-8” by Sunday morning, with additional snow during the day.
Generally light snow will continue through Monday, with the valleys possibly seeing some sun by late in the day. Not much additional accumulations are expected during the day to add to the likely 2-4” report on Monday morning. A weak wave passes Tuesday night in northwest flow, but models have trended drier, and no significant precipitation is expected. Much drier air and sunshine infiltrates the area on Wednesday, although another weak and dry wave will create some clouds late on Thursday in continued northwest flow. Otherwise quiet and pleasant weather is expected into the beginning of next weekend.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
A storm along the southern California coast has created southwest flow over our area that has pushed a cold front to our north today. However, this cold front is forecast to slip into our area later today or tonight, and may produce some snow as the southwest flow aloft overruns the front. It appears that weak northwest flow will develop behind the front sometime on Friday leading to a better chance of accumulating snows in the 2-4” range by the end of the day.
As the California low moves along the Mexican border and eventually east of us by Saturday, unsettled weather with persistent snow showers will continue through Saturday and Sunday. Furthermore, additional waves of energy in the northwest flow will help to intermittently intensify the showers, though amounts are still expected to be light. I would expect 2-4” each day of the weekend before the skies clear by mid-day Monday.
A nice day Tuesday before another wave form the northwest is expected by late in the day or Wednesday, though current model forecasts have only light snow predicted. Yet another dry wave is expected to drop temperatures a bit later in the work week, but no precipitation is currently forecast with this wave.
It appears a significant pattern change is lurking in the extended forecast period sometime around the new year, but global numerical models are having a tough time predicting the details. As always, stay tuned for developments!
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Today was seasonably warm and sunny, with warmer temperatures on the hill than in the valley due to our cold mornings created by temperature inversions. The snow is still great! Usual first run down Closets into Shadows had soft snow that was a bit set up. Same for Lower Shadows below Duster in the northwest aspects, but found the best skiing in aspects tilted more to the south as the sun warmed the snow nicely.
The Sundown liftline and Kuus Cruise underneath the old Priest Creek double chair skied well, but again, the best skiing was in the sun softened snow of 3 O’Clock. Up the Elkhead lift and to Ted’s Ridge, which I also found to be a bit stiff as it got colder at lower elevations. A quick ride up Thunderhead brought me to the top of Heavenly Daze overlooking the South Valley and the setting sun, and the right side of the trail was in remarkably good condition. The lower mountain has good skiing as well, though the snow was colder and harder than the warmer higher elevations.