Powder Alert El Nino and Weather Update
Nov 5, 2015 9:31pm
Here we go, again -- more new snow ahead
I like the pattern. A very progressive weather pattern is shaping up, as several storms are lined up on the computer models. This weekend will see rain on snow late Friday and Saturday(SL 6500ft) with limited snowmelt, but consolidation of the existing pack. The snow level will lower later in the weekend to 3000ft. New snow could be in the 6-12 or more snow by Sunday through Monday. All passes to get snow! We are cookin. Again, we need 2-5 feet to open. This will put us in the few inches to 1- 2 ft total range so we are getting there. I am seeing more action mid month. Dont worry if there is occasionally a high snow level. It doesnt melt that much.
To quickly recap last weekend, the new snow came as forecast. We received a few inches to about 14 at Whistler, 10 at Mt Baker. Top of Stevens and also top of Crystal 10-14 There was a trace to a few inches at lower elevations. Other locations: Revelstoke, BC 40, Arizona Snow Bowl 10-20 (that is so El Nino!) Targhee is ready to open November 20th. Sun Valley with new snow and snow making opens by Thanksgiving top to bottom skiing, and those are some bomber runs.
Last season was a freak this is not a repeat!
First the snow season will be much improved over last year. Last year was about 70% below normal statewide, this year it will be about 20%. below mainly affecting lower elevations. But NOT a bust, below 5000 ft like last year.
Second In the worst historical El Nino seasons, nothing is as bad as last year. The Summit, for example, had two to three times more snowfall than last year -- even in the worst El Nino years!
As you know, we have a strong El Nino in progress in the tropical Pacific (similar to 1997-98). El Nino is an area of warmer than normal ocean temperatures, which affects tropical thunderstorms, which in turn influences the jet stream in our area. There is a very weak signal for precipitation in the NW, so expect slightly below normal precipitation. There is a signal of generally less extreme storms but no guarantees! The main signal is warmer than normal, by a couple degrees. The difference from last season is: the warming this season will not be a consistent or great as last season. The El Nino effects are greatest in January, So November and late this season, have good potential. Dont sweat it it will be much better than last season.
El Nino will die out next spring. But guess what? It may cause an epic surprise for next season (2016 - 2017).
NW Snow and Avalanche Workshop at the UW
This weekend. For info: www.nwac.us/nsaw
Ski Dazzle at Century Link
This weekend. For info: www.skidazzle.com/seattle
Your Grand Poobah of Powder - on the web since 1996
Larry Schick meteorologist