Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Winter, Interrupted

The end of October arrived with such promise.  Record cold temperatures.  Natural snowfall.  Resort snowmaking.

Alas, things changed quickly and we've been stuck in a dry, warm pattern for over a week.  Since November 3, maximum and minimum temperatures at Alta have been running at or above average.

Source: http://xmacis.rcc-acis.org/
Really, the pattern has been locked in for some time.  The 30-day average 500-mb heights for the period ending Monday November 11 shows anomalous ridging over the Gulf of Alaska and Alaska and anomalous troughing over the Great Lakes region.  This is consistent with the frequent surges of cold air into the high plains and the unusually cold weather we had in October.

In November, it shifted a bit, allowing us to experience more mild weather.  Unfortunately, the spigot has also closed and thus we sit here waiting for snow while the natural snowpack has melted off on south aspects and rotted to facets on the north aspects.  Resorts are still making snow when they can and this morning guns were running at Alta and Snowbasin.

Source: Alta

Source: Snowbasin
Nevertheless, we need natural snow, but the NAEFS forecasts have been like bad reruns the past few days and last night's is no exception.  Little to no precipitation through day 5 with a couple of members from the Canadian Ensemble putting out some precipitation at days 6 and 7.

Thus, a major storm is unlikely and the odds favor little to no precipitation through the coming weekend.  Let us hope that something can slip through the net next week.

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