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Light snow today and late Friday as mountain slopes warm and valleys stay cold

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Very light snow is currently falling on the hill as a weak wave in northwest flow grazes our area today. Temperatures on the hill are running about 10F warmer than yesterday, and they will warm further, especially Wednesday and Thursday. Mountain valleys, however, will remain cold as temperature inversions maintained by the clearing skies expected tomorrow and Thursday allow for strong nighttime cooling of the snow surface.

Our next chance for snow occurs late Friday as another weak Pacific wave from the northwest is forecast to cross our area. Snowfall is expected to be light at this time, but the bigger effect may be that valley inversion are moderated as the storm passes.

Seasonal weather is expected to continue into the following week before another arctic surge may impact us near the end of the work week. This outbreak may be similar to the current one with sharply colder temperatures and moderate to heavy snows, though a 10 day forecast is likely to change as the event nears.

More great skiing in very cold temperatures

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A 4” mid-mountain report with 7” up top and snowing sounded promising on the 5am report, indeed by the 1pm report there were 9” at mid and 8” up top. The temperature at the Storm Peak Lab fell from 0F at the 5am report to -7F by 8:30am, so I prepared for another cold powder day.

While riding up the Gondola, I noticed Patrol had opened Upper Valley View for the first time this season, so took that as my first run. A bit tracked up top, but very deep bottomless turns near the sides. On the way back to the Gondola, I noticed that the Bashor chair was running for the first time this season, so I did a couple of laps in the untracked in Bashor Bowl. Again, deep powder, but the pitch was just not steep enough to make many linked turns.

Back up the Gondola and up Storm Peak to check out Shadows, and I was very surprised to measure 11-15” of snow in the favored locations. I’ve not been in Shadows for a couple of days as I was skiing the newly opened terrain around Rolex, so not sure how much of that fell overnight. But really good powder, especially the lower half of Upper Shadows down to the Duster cat track.

Temperatures dropping rapidly as storm moves through

Most of the remaining part of the storm is currently moving through the area as temperatures up top have dropped from 0F at 5am to -7F at 8:30am as light snow continues. Temperatures will likely continue to fall or remain this cold until tomorrow morning when a trailing wave finally pushes the coldest part of the storm east of the area. Snow showers on the hill will likely continue until tomorrow afternoon, though additional accumulations after noon today will be minimal due to the very cold temperatures and drying airmass.

Another grazing wave in northwest flow will keep temperatures cold and start light snow showers on the hill again during Tuesday afternoon and evening. There should be some warming on the mountain slopes by Wednesday, but it will be most noticeable on Thursday as the trough that had been sitting over the western part of the US moves east. Mountain valleys, on the other hand, are likely to remain cold as strong inversions develop and persist.

Models currently forecast a weak storm for the following weekend. A flat ridge looks to build in the Gulf of Alaska which may shunt Pacific energy to our north and create mostly dry conditions after that.

SnowAlarm registration and login back for the 2013-2014 ski season

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The SnowAlarm login and registration system is now back for this winter season. In addition to changes you’ve seen on the site including the new layout and mobile-friendly versions, I also have a new registration system. Longtime users of the site will not like it, but ‘ve had to implement a revenue generating model for SnowAlarm.

Unlimited SnowAlarms for one area are still free, but multiple areas require a fee as I am no longer able to personally bear the costs of running this site. Since competitors are now charging for something I have been giving away for over 13 years, I have finally decided to consider a similar approach.

For my loyal SnowAlarm users over the years, I am offering the first payment for any product you choose at half price if you choose the same username from years past when you sign up. If you don’t see the discount on your invoice after signing up, then your username is wrong and you will have to go through the signup process again.

Additionally, your old SnowAlarm profile will be automatically resored! This is only for the first charge, and recurring products will be billed at the normal rate. Again, the half price discount will be applied to ONLY your first payment and ONLY once. Remember to choose the same username from years past when you sign up in order to receive this special discount! If you don’t see the discount on your invoice after signing up, then your username is wrong and you will have to go through the signup process again.

I have decided to still offer an unlimited number of SnowAlarms for one ski area for free. This is great option for the destination skier interested in only the ski area they are visiting. Otherwise, the following subscriptions are available:

  • $1.99 for unlimited areas for 1 day. This is a one-time charge so you can enable your SnowAlarms for just that huge powder day predicted for tomorrow.
  • $5 / week between Nov 1 and the third weekend of April. This is a recurring charge that occurs every week during the season.
  • $10 / month between Nov 1 and the third weekend of April. This is a recurring charge that occurs every month during the season.
  • $30 / year. This is a recurring charge that occurs every year.

Even though there will be no recurring charges, as part of your subscription I will start to send SnowAlarms when the first Colorado resorts open, usually late October and will continue to send then after the third weekend in April until all resorts are closed.

Sign up now and don’t miss another powder day!

Great skiing on Friday

It finally warmed up to 2F at mid-mountain and -6F up top, so I headed up in the afternoon to check out the new terrain opening, specifically Rolex as Elkhead started operations yesterday. The groomed terrain was just fantastic as it was soft and buttery. Rolex itself was fairly skied by the time I got to it, but lots of high quality bouncy powder in the trees.

I only had time for two laps as without Sundown running yet, you had to ski down to Storm Peak to regain access to the Priest Creek area. Second lap was pretty much a repeat of the first as still lots of untracked left if you are willing to look for it. I even did a couple of laps on the Gondola as the Heavenly Daze and Vogue edges were skiing very well.

Temperatures have warmed a bit ahead of the next storm and with light snow currently falling, I expect another day of great skiing on the hill!

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