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7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 25 December to 04 January, 2014 - COLORADO/ NEW MEXICO: All next week (22nd onward) we expect a more favorable northern storm track (all Christmas week), for better chances of better than light, and more powdery/ cold snow, due to the colder storm origins from out of the Gulf of Alaska and crossing Canada on the way in. After Christmas week and toward the end of 2014, we expect storm-blocking higher pressure ridging to build in across the area, with more sunshine and less potential for any snow. NORTHWEST US and SOUTHWEST CANADA: High pressure pushes in across the area from the southwest US and eastern Pacific much of Christmas week, with some tail ends of storms (warmer southern portion) moving through, causing rain showers and higher elevation snow showers, with mostly rain at and below ski resort base elevations (snow level issues, rain mix at base elevations) across the Pacific Northwest including north Idaho ski resorts. Southwest Canada (Alberta/ British Columbia) should see less snow level issues and more snow potential than Inland Northwest ski resorts, all through Christmas week. It looks like the Inland Northwest may see a white Christmas, showing up a day or so before Christmas in the form of a colder storm (Christmas eve/ Christmas snow for Coeur d'Alene/ Spokane). SOUTHWEST US AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; Mostly dry with high pressure ridging dominating for Christmas week and possibly through the end of the year. This outlook includes southern California resort areas like Mountain High. UTAH looks like it may get clipped (northern Utah) Christmas day (or the day before/ day after), but mostly sunny skies may dominate all week under high pressure. WYOMING/ MONTANA We expect high pressure to set up across the southwest US, with storms again targeting the Pacific Northwest/ southwest Canada, and Wyoming/ Montana, for a nice freshen up of colder snow and temperatures before the major holiday, and during it. CM
Longer Range Outlook
December 2014, we are in a weak El Nino Sea Surface Temperature pattern across the Equatorial Eastern Pacific. (prior forecast-->) 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, still somewhat favorable for California (Tahoe-Mammoth/ SoCal) and the desert Southwest, plus southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico).
A weak El Nino (or possible "neutral" pattern) is expected for this winter, into early 2015.
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, with near average snowfall also expected across southern California and northern Arizona resorts. CM
The closest major family resort to the Bay Area and Sacramento, Sierra-at-Tahoe is Lake Tahoe's best-kept secret. The resort's North facing location keeps the snow in great condition for days and with a variety of terrain to choose from the entire family or group of friends can find something to cater toward their ability. Sierra is one of the only resorts that offers beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain all accessible from the summit lift, allowing groups to ride together while still enjoying the runs they want to hit. Five backcountry gates keep expert skiers entertained for hours and give breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe along with quite, uncrowded lines you can't find at other resorts. With new terrain park features, access to backcountry terrain, and new adventure parks for kids, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort has something to offer everyone. Sierra-at-Tahoe is Northern California's home away from home. At this resort, guests are greeted by name and treated like family. Located on Highway 50, Sierra is the closest major snowsports resort to San Francisco and Sacramento, yet it's just a stone's throw away from the glitz of South Lake Tahoe and a multitude of hotel and casino lodging options. Convenience, value and great service are just a few of the words that summarize Sierra. Another asset is the location of its slopes, which are wind-protected and cradle the fresh powder for days. Skiers and riders of all ability levels can easily find their niche here, whether it's exploring the never-ending tree skiing, cruising down a 2.5 mile beginner run from the summit or hucking themselves off a tabletop in one of the many terrain parks and pipes scattered throughout the mountain.