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Major winter storm hits Tuesday morning

Monday, December 2, 2013

A storm currently situated to our northwest will affect our area perhaps as early as Monday night with light showers and very windy conditions. The cold front that will bring the very cold winter-like temperatures southward is now projected to move across the area a bit faster than earlier forecasted, perhaps as early as Tuesday morning. Good snows Tuesday should produce 8-16” on the hill by Wednesday morning. Our snow on Wednesday will be dependent upon how far south the frontal boundary moves, and current forecasts have this a but further north and more stationary. For this reason, I’m increasing the forecast a bit and I might expect an additional 6-12” after the morning report that will appear on the Thursday morning report.

There may be a break in snowfall Thursday and Friday before a Pacific wave rounds a building ridge in the Gulf of Alaska kicks the main part of the storm over us late Friday. More snow and likely the coldest temperatures of this arctic outbreak are expected then. Snow and cold will continue through the weekend as additional waves of energy form the north move over the area in the very cold and unstable air mass.

It appears that early in the next work week the ridge in the Gulf of Alaska that has shunted this very cold over our area will not break down as earlier forecast. A small wave is forecast early in the next work week and then a much larger storm is forecast mid week as another surge of arctic air moves over the west.

Some snow accumulations by Monday before a major winter-like storm affects our area on Tuesday

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Light snow will continue today and become slightly heavier tonight as a subtle wave grazes us in moist northwest flow. I might expect 3-6” on the hill by Monday afternoon based upon this morning’s model runs.

Skies should clear by Monday afternoon before a storm currently situated around the Gulf of Alaska will affect our area perhaps as early as Monday night with light showers. The cold front that will bring the very cold winter-like temperatures southward is now projected to move across the area a bit faster than earlier forecasted, perhaps as early as Tuesday morning. Good snows Tuesday should produce 6-12” on the hill by Wednesday morning. Our snow on Wednesday will be dependent upon how far south the frontal boundary moves, and I might expect an additional 4-8” during the day that will appear on the Thursday morning report.

There may be a break in snowfall Thursday morning before a Pacific wave rounds a building ridge in the Gulf of Alaska kicks the main part of the storm over us around Friday. More snow and likely the coldest temperatures of this arctic outbreak are expected then. Snow and cold will continue through the weekend as additional waves of energy form the north move over the area in the very cold and unstable air mass.

It appears that early in the next work week the ridge in the Gulf of Alaska that has shunted this very cold over our area will break down and allow a moderation of temperatures along the mountain slopes. However, inversions will develop and persist at lower elevations keeping mountain valleys in the deep freeze.

Great solid base on the upper mountain

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I went over to Chute 1 yesterday to see how the coverage was, and was very impressed with how solid the three feet or so of base felt. Only a rock or two poking out, but even the top rollover was covered well enough to ski. A bit tricky yesterday and then again today when I went back as the snow surface is very uneven due to avalanche control work by Patrol and the resultant slides, but good steep skiing nonetheless!

Found some powder in the trees around Four Points along the northern aspects and in other shaded regions. But these swatches of powder were only a few turns at a time, except near the cat tracks where I found maybe a half dozen sweet turns. Same was true over in Priest Creek, although that has a far more southern exposure allowing the sun to affect the snow more. The lower half of Flying Z was also skiing quite well.

So great coverage and excellent early season skiing! We may get a bit of snow tomorrow, but the storm cycle forecast to begin mid-week or a bit earlier is eagerly awaited.

Winter blast still timed for mid week

Friday, November 29, 2013

After a nice Friday and Saturday, a weak wave approaching from the northwest will produce some light snow showers beginning Sunday morning and continuing through Monday around noon. This wave is trending slightly stronger in the models, and I might expect 3-6” on the hill by Monday afternoon based upon this morning’s model runs.

A nice Monday afternoon and Tuesday before a storm currently moving across Alaska will affect our area perhaps as early as Tuesday night. . Some energy splits from this storm by Wednesday and drags cold air across the northern third of the west. The rest of the storm drops south along the west coast and turns the flow over our area to the southwest. Good snows by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning should occur along the frontal boundary in our proximity.

There are differences in how the storm to our west evolves, but cold winter-like temperatures are expected. Currently, it appears the front will become quasi-stationary over our area from Tuesday night through Thursday or so, keeping the coldest air to our north There will be periods of moderate to heavy snow as energy ejects from the storm to our west along the frontal boundary until a Pacific wave rounds a building ridge in the Gulf of Alaska and kicks the main part of the storm over us around Friday. More snow and colder temperatures are expected then, and into the weekend as additional waves of energy form the north move over the area in the very cold and unstable air mass.

The ridge in the Gulf of Alaska is handled differently by different models, so it is not clear if this winter pattern persists into the following week.

Well advertised pattern change still forecast to occur midweek

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Some very light snow is a possibility during the day Sunday, but amounts will be minimal.

Attention turns to the pattern change around midweek that was forecast as early as a week ago. A storm currently moving across Alaska will rapidly intensify in the Gulf of Alaska the weekend. Some energy splits from this storm by Wednesday and drags cold air across the northern third of the west. The rest of the storm drops south along the west coast and turns the flow over our area to the southwest. Good snow by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning should occur along the frontal boundary in our proximity.

Snow should be relatively steady until intensifying later in the work week as a cold wave from the polar regions kicks the storm over California to the west and over our area. I would expect significant accumulations from Wednesday through Friday before very cold and dryer mid-winter like air will moves over our area by Friday and especially Saturday.

Strong inversion are likely to develop and persist, keepiing mountain valleys in the deep freeze even as the upper elevations begin to moderate by the end of the weekend.

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