There will be a painful pause in the weather for the next few days, but I expect the snow to start falling again in the Northwest. However, well have to wait until late next Wednesday, November 21.
There is really no chance of any significant snowfall before next Wednesday. In fact, Id be surprised if we even see a dusting in the next four days. High pressure is building in for this upcoming weekend into mid next week. The ridge of high pressure will effectively block storms from the Pacific while stretching the storms out and shoving our potential snowfall into Alaska.
The current snowpack is meager or non-existent on the mid to lower slopes (3,000-5,000ft), except for snowmaking. We generally need 2-5 feet of snowfall to open, but it can depend on how the snowstorms come in. Right now there is a little snow above 5,000 ft on the mid and upper slopes but snow depth would be measured in inches not feet. I havent seen any firm commitments of any NW ski areas opening for Thanksgiving.
The best news is the computer weather models show new snowfall for late on Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day. There is additional snow potential with another storm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Nov 23-25), with lowering snow levels (3,000 4,000 ft.). I dont think there will be enough snow for ski areas to open immediately, but there may be enough toward the Thanksgiving weekend. We might expect some partial ski area openings.
The new snow could be a respectable start. A foot of snow or more may fall from Thursday to Sunday of next week. There is potential for more than a foot in some areas One to three feet in the 3-5 day storm cycle is not unreasonable. My hesitation is it is too early to confidently access how much snow will fall in this storm cycle and its uncertain the snowy pattern will actually live up to its potential. But at least the potential is on the table. I think well get decent new snow, its just how much and will it be enough.
One uncertainty which creeps in for me is there have been several times this past month the computer model snow forecast tease us with snow, then betray us. But for now, Im going for it expect a turn toward a snowy pattern for mid to late next week.
We are off and running
Your Grand Poobah of Powder