Hello skiers and snow lovers,
Welcome to snow season 2019-20.
The skiing will be better than last year with more snowfall, as we are now out of the El Nino phase which can cause NW snow problems. This season we are going to see a neutral pattern, which is more favorable for snow in the NW than El Nino.
Weve already had snowfall in the mountains. Its not significant (1 - 12) and well lose some of it. But its a start. Its early in the storm season. Typically the storms dont get strong enough and consistent enough until later in October and into November. The good news is the storm track seems to be active with no stubborn wall of high pressure (snow killer), but rather the expected occasional storms.
Generally, we need 3 - 5ft of snow to open, depending on how it comes in. Snowmaking will help fill the thin spots on the well-traveled slopes. Snowmaking really helped Whistler and Crystal with the slow start last year. I do not expect a slow start this year. Expect many NW ski areas to start opening around Thanksgiving. Thats not far off get your butt in shape no more hot fudge pumpkin mochas.
The seasonal forecast is for near-normal snowfall. We never know how it will come in, so you wanna jump on the powder train when the storms develop. Thats what the Powder Alert is all about.
The snow never falls consistently from Dec April, but in multi-day snowfall cycles. Remember, one multi-week big snowfall (or dry spell) does not forecast what the next month will bring - so get it while the gettin' is good.
Your Grand Poobah of Powder
Larry Schick, Meteorologist