Frigid temperatures and snow for the next week

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I had another 6” on my deck this morning, and it is snowing lightly. The tail end of the first part of the storm cycle is moving through our area, and snowfall will decrease by this evening after an additional 3-6” during the day. I was optimistic we would be getting near the upper range of my 14-28” forecast, but it appears we will be at the lower end. The mountain-top wind direction never really turned to the northwest for an extended period during the storm and snowfall rates were lighter than I originally anticipated.

A longwave trough extending through the western US and Canada will keep the bitterly cold temperatures in place for the next week. Periods of snow and reinforcing cold air surges will occur this entire period as energy moves down from the polar regions into this longwave trough.

One of these surges is currently timed for Friday but only very light snowfall is expected. Another series of waves moves over us this weekend continuing the cold and forcing higher snowfall rates. Even though there will not be a lot of moisture in this very cold air, snow densities of around 2-4% will create extremely light and fluffy snow leading to not insignficant accumulations.

A final trailing wave on Monday will likely bring the coldest temperatures of this arctic outbreak. Mountain slopes should begin warming by mid-week, though the valleys will remain locked in bone-chilling cold as inversions develop, strengthen and persist.

Major winter storm begins a bit later than forecast

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Models are struggling with the exact timing of the moderate snowfall, but it still is forecast to arrive sometime this afternoon. The cold front just to our north gets pushed northward or held stationary by the southwesterly winds aloft until it regains forward progress, certainly by sunset today. Snow will become moderate to heavy then, and continue through Wednesday afternoon. I still expect accumulations likely exceeding 2 feet by sunset Wednesday on the hill, with significant accumulations in the valley as well.

Very cold air will accompany the decrease in snowfall late Wednesday as the main upper low moves overs us. Frigid Thursday temperatures will be reinforced by another wave of extremely cold air entering the area Friday. Another storm dropping south from the arctic will bring yet another wave of cold and significant snow by mid-weekend.

The cold and snow pattern looks to persist into early next week as the currently forecast last very cold wave moves overs us on Monday. This one is not as far west, and it appears that the storm cycle will end then as westerlies begin to infiltrate our area. However, the significant valley snowfall combined with low sun angle this time of year promises vigorous and long-lasting valley inversions, even as the mountain slopes begin to moderate by Wednesday or Thursday. Winter is here to stay!

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.

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.

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23 February 2021

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