[Cover Photo: Arapahoe Basin via Al’s Blog]
*November 6, 2016, 6PM MST
Weather patterns thus far have brought near record precipitation in the Northwest (Primarily rain) with very high snow levels (Whistler has had significant snow at mountain top level). Most of the actual mid mountain and lower elevation snow that has fallen will be found in central and northern BC (Resorts in Canada have respectable snow in some areas even at mid elevations). In the US States the most snow that has fallen has been above 8,000 feet in the west (Wyoming and Montana) as well as northern New England resorts). Alaska could easily be in the mix? Alyeska reporting 3-5 inches in the past 4 days and 16 inches YTD mid mountain (Warm temps). The southern Sierra grabbed a good 11-18 inches at upper elevations on the last storm with less up north.
Long term models are not optimistic for the month of November (Warm conditions continuing with lower than average snowfall for many areas of the West). New England models point to some storms developing next weekend (Northern resorts) and perhaps a wetter but warmer system the following. Don’t Panic! it’s only November! November powder days are still a bonus in my books! Looking into December we should cool off in the Rockies with uncertainty for moisture. What falls this November or early December shares no correlation for what the rest of winter will bring. We can easily transition to average or even above average winters playing catch up as winter progresses. Models beyond 3-4 weeks bring lots of uncertainty. Currently I am not seeing any Buzz in the next 2-4 weeks (Believe me I’m looking for powder buzz).
The week ahead shows a “continual trend for wet conditions in the Pacific Northwest” every 72 hours (Snow levels will be high occasionally dropping to 6500 bringing light snow to Mount Baker Ski area summit). Snow levels will rebound to 8,000. Heavy moisture continues over Whistler with snow levels at or slightly above the summit!
Snow fell over the San Juans of Colorado above 10,000 feet. Wind direction will favor areas around Wolf Creek Pass and extend north to Silverton and Ouray where elevation will help in amounts. Expect 4-8 inches above 10,000 feet by Monday monday morning. Taos Ski Valley also picked up its first real snowfall of the season.
Light to heavy snow fell in the central Colorado mountains extending to I-70 late Saturday as the low pressure moved north and East (1-4). Snow showers were intermittent in others parts of Summit County with a focus on the upslope side of the Eisenhower Tunnel.
As the founder of Powderchasers.com I have never had a winter in the West where the skunk of POW has impacted all regions. My best optimism right now is in the northern regions. That can absolutely change course as we get into the heart of the season! New England is off to a great start up north (12-18 inches at the higher elevations).
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