7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 26 October to 05 November, 2014 - Early next week (27-28th) more low pressure moves in across the northwest US (resort snowfall for WA/ OR/ ID/ MT), while high pressure (mostly sunny and milder weather) builds across Utah/ Colorado (incl. Aspen, CO) and the southwest US. By mid and late next week (29-31 Oct) a strong and cold storm (strongest/ coldest yet) moves into the northwest US south to Lake Tahoe and Mammoth, with snow spreading across the resorts of the northwest US (ID/ WA/ OR) and Tahoe mid week, then east to Montana/ Wyoming/ Utah and Colorado the 30th and through Halloween (Halloween snowfall potential for Aspen-Snowmass). Dry weather is expected across the southwest US including southern California. <-- This is still on track. Storms should become more frequent with less sunny weather overall (of course this is seasonal) after a brief break the first 1-3 days of November (high pressure overhead and mostly sunny, milder the first 1 - 3 days of Nov for Aspen-Snowmass), with more resort elevation snowfalls expected north of a line from Tahoe to Colorado moving in afterward. CM
Longer Range Outlook
As of now, October 2014, we are still on a path to see an El Nino Sea Surface Temperature pattern hold across the Equatorial Eastern Pacific. Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies yield a weak El Nino pattern across the eastern Equatorial Pacific (El Nino development is on track, but it will be weak at least to start, still favorable for California and the desert Southwest, plus much of Colorado and northern New Mexico). Please note; Many computer models indicate the El Nino SST pattern may become moderate strength later this fall and early 2015, with would help focus more of the Gulf of Alaska storm action across the southwest US and California, where its desperately needed.
A weak El Nino is now being predicted for this fall and winter, into early 2015. It looks like the early season (October/ November) will see more rain and snow for southern and central California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. This should help kick off the early season for places like Mammoth Mountain. This should also help build up a better than average base of snow for Aspen-Snowmass and Taos Ski Valley. Temperatures are expected to be near and below average for these areas as well, which helps. Maybe Thanksgiving will be pretty good for many more areas across the southwest, and even for Squaw Valley in Tahoe. The Northwest US is expecting a drier and milder than usual fall, with less snowfall than average, though with their usual heavy snowfall, especially in the Cascades, this drier/ milder than average fall season could still be good for resorts across the northwest US, mainly along the Cascades, less so inland.
The larger time-scale SST pattern in place right now is still a cool phase PDO, or negative PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation). This is a more long term pattern (decades), and it has made any recent years El Nino SST patterns weaker (it looks like this is the case with the current El Nino, which was expected to be strong initially.
To summarize, the possibility of an El Nino pattern this fall and winter are "likely". Forecasts from other agencies are calling for El Nino conditions to hold this fall and winter. This would favor the southwest US (including southern California and across to Taos Ski Valley, even Aspen, Colorado) for heavier rain and snow this fall and mainly winter (2014-2015), after the wet monsoon summer across the southwest US (we forecast this in the spring). Northwest US areas, and southwest Canada, along with northern Colorado through Wyoming and the northern Rocky Mountains, should expect a drier than average, or near average snowfall winter (2014-2015). Tahoe/ Mammoth should see near average snowfall
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