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REVIEW OF PAST WEEK
This past week featured more great skiing and snow conditions across much of the Northeast, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and even the southeastern United States. Mt. Snow, Mad River Glen and Killington, Vt., have seen near record early season snowfall. Southern resorts like Snowshoe (West Virginia) and Sugar Mt. (North Carolina) have received up to a foot of snow, while Utah and the Sierras have seen below normal snowfall–very unusual. Up to a foot of snow fell at Vail and Winter Park, Colo., but other resorts in Colorado such as Keystone, Snowmass and Copper received under 5″ of snow where ski conditions are just fair. Dry weather conditions are becoming a concern in much of Alberta, Utah and in parts of the Sierras. Utah has not seen any meaningful snow for a couple weeks, and ski areas in California, such as Kirkwood (base 180″) are also beginning to see drier weather.
We have two jet-stream maps to show you today. The first one (A) represents the present atmospheric conditions over the United States and Canada. Yellow and orange regions present the above normal temperatures that have dominated the western UnitedStates for the last couple months. The blue depicts the bitter cold that is affecting the eastern United States. In fact, wind chill factors in New England this week will remain well below zero and temperatures will average as much as 10-15 degrees below normaleven in New York City, Boston and the southeast.
FORECAST FOR THE WEEK
You will notice on the second map (B) how a circular formation develops off the west coast of Oregon and Washington by Thursday.
As bitter cold air pours into Quebec, Alberta and Ontario (blue), the result will be strong east to southeast winds (black lines close together…the closer the lines, the stronger the winds) from Montana and Idaho into Alberta and British Columbia. With these winds, lots of moisture will bring heavy snow to these areas. Ski resorts such was Schweitzer, Jackson Hole, Big Mountain (Montana) could see over 6-10″ of snow by mid-week while major snows pound Fernie and Whistler with a foot or more. In fact, some areas in British Columbia may see 1-3 feet of snow improving backcountry skiing and heli-skiing later this week.
Temperatures will warm into the 30’s and 40’s below 3000′ feet by this weekend, so some rain can be expected at the lower elevations of B.C. Some of this snow could bring some needed relief to Banff, Sunshine Village and most of Alberta with at least 4-8″ mid-late week. Mt. Baker and ski resorts in the northern Cascades of Oregon and Washington will also see 6-15″ of snow from this system this week.
The 1052 arctic high pressure system you see over north central Canada is destined to invade the Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States with the coldest weather of the season over the next five days before a warming trend starts next week.
This high-pressure cell is part of a system that two weeks ago brought parts of Europe and Russia their coldest weather in years. Some rivers and lakes froze, which has not happened since 1948!
Other than a couple weak systems that may bring 1-4″ of snow to parts of Nevada, Utah and Colorado, I do not see any important snow events for at least another week.
The best skiing will continue over the eastern U.S., if you can endure the cold, Idaho, Wyoming, and in some parts of Colorado, and Montana.
The main weather action this week will again be over the southeastern United States, B.C.-Canada, Oregon and Washington with significant snows.
Finally, improvement is likely in Europe this week with some important snows in France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
For my special ski weather newsletter, discounted ski passes,subscriptions to your favorite ski magazines and tonsof weather information…please visit www.bestskiweather.com
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