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The weather pattern over the last couple weekshas pretty much gone as expected withwell above normal snowfall and below normal temperaturesover New England and the Northeast U.S. and warmerand drier conditions out west. This was forecastedin early November that you can find in my newsletterfrom my web site. The best ski conditionsin North America are definitely in northern New Yorkand Vermont where lake effect snows have resultedin 2-4 feet of snow at such places as Smugglers’ Notch,Whiteface, Jay Peak, Sugarbush-Mad River Glen and Killington.These areas will begin to see a pattern change towardnormal to warmer than normal weather and below normalsnowfall, but skiing here should still be generally ideal forat least the next week. There is, however, a slight chancefor a coastal storm (Nor’easter) on Saturday-Sundaythe 14th-15th that needs to be watched. This “potential”storm will be critical in keeping ski conditions ideal inthe east, because I do not see much after this period andexpect a warming trend heading into Christmas.
Several weeks ago, there were reports on the news about the so-called”record snows” in the Sierras and Cascades and howthis is associated with El Nino and might well continue.However, we have been concerned about the 1986analog year and that not allEl Nino events portend a stellar ski season in thePacific northwest, especially during the firstpart of the ski season. In fact, during many El Ninos,the best time to ski at such resorts asSquaw Valley, Mt. Hood, Whistler, Crystal Mt.,and Alta is during the February-April time frame.However, a short term change toward much snowierconditions is likely for parts of the Rockies and PacificNorthwest over the next 1-2 weeks.
El Nino may begin to take over resultingin somewhat milder air across most of the country,but with an increasing chance for snows out west.Two weak weather systems will affect southernColorado/New Mexico and the Cascades throughWednesday. Places like Telluride, Taos, Sun Valley,and Mt. Baker should see at least 3-6″ of snowearly-mid week with a possibility for more. Someski resorts along the western slopes of Washingtonand Oregon could actually see a foot of snow throughWednesday and as that system moves southeastward,snows will increase throughout Colorado and NewMexico by Wednesday-Thursday. The best snowswill fall throughout southern Colorado.
By later this week and much of next week, a dramaticchange in the pattern could bring several feet of snowto much of the Pacific Northwest, California, British-Columbiasome parts of the Rockies. Ski resorts like Heavenly,Squaw Valley and Whistler could really use some snow afterthe recent warm spell has hindered conditions. These areaswill be in the batter’s box for heavy snow.
This week’s map shows the projected jet-stream patternby this weekend. A few interesting features—-First of all,you will notice a (534 L) off the coast of New England.This represents a coastal storm. The big cities in skiresorts south of Vermont will get mostly rain. Farthernorth, there is a chance for snow, but it will be a closecall as temps will be warming quite a bit..Out west, you will notice the southwesterly wind flowcoming across California (solid black lines). Also observethe numerous (little + signs and L’s) across the Pacificand British Columbia. These represent a series of strong’disturbances that should bring heavy snows to someareas. It is possible that some of the more importantsnows will miss Utah and Wyoming.
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