Please check out our 2013-2014 Winter Outlook for Mountain High and local SoCal resorts, toward the bottom of this page.
Updated for Monday, December 9, 2013 (Updated at 6:30pm Sunday) - We expect mostly sunny skies and cold temperatures Monday as high pressure ridging builds in and more cold air is dragged in across the mountains from out of the north. GREAT snow making potential is expected. Mostly sunny skies and not so cold temperatures are expected Tuesday under building high pressure ridging aloft, and less wind. Wednesday and Thursday look milder but not warm, with mostly light breezes and mostly sunny skies. At this time, low pressure will be developing out of the north, and is expected to possibly drop south through SoCal Friday and Saturday. We have another shot of snow then, and we will nail down details better in the next update. CM
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7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 15 to 24 December, 2013 - We expect a shifting pattern, as east Pacific high pressure ridging that has been a very persistent feature this fall breaks down a bit, and the storm track-jet stream cuts more across eastPac waters and into the west coast, with a more zonal (fast moving, west to east) pattern and fast moving storms possible into mid December and beyond. These storms would favor northern California, Lake Tahoe resorts specifically and the northwest US, with mainly the southern portion of most storms affecting SoCal resort areas, for mostly light snowfall potential in each storm, though some may have moderate+ snowfall potential. After a possible coming weekend storm, the next storm arrives mid to late next week with another possible shot of snow for SoCal resort areas. Either way, the pattern stays pretty busy across the west, with frequent storms right through the Christmas holiday period.
Long Range Forecast for Mountain High and southern California Resort areas
Last winter we had a La Nina SST pattern in effect, and our weather was drier than average, aside from December which was near to above average in precipitation, then especially dry overall after Christmas and through the rest of the season.
We do not expect a repeat of last season, this season...
As of now, November 2013, we are officially being affected by an ENSO-Neutral, or La Nada Sea Surface Temperature pattern across the Equatorial Eastern Pacific (SSTs near to slightly below average).
The larger time-scale SST pattern in place right now is a cool phase PDO, or negative PDO, which stands for Pacific Decadal Oscillation. This is a more long term pattern, and it has made any recent years El Nino SST patterns weaker. All of this means a couple of things for us. We do not have an El Nino or La Nina SST pattern, so nothing is as clear cut as either of these can be for southern California Mountain areas. A wet, warm, pineapple-express is not likely to develop (El Nino), and a very dry pattern for SoCal (usually the case with La Nina) is also unlikely, so we are left with the many potential scenarios in-between.
We expect the ENSO Neutral, or La Nada pattern to continue through at least mid-winter, with a possible trend toward El Nino in the late winter/ spring/ summer of 2014. East Pacific high pressure ridging will be a pretty persistent feature in the early season, through December and into January, with colder than usual storms moving in out of the northwest and not as much out of the west off the Pacific (some drier inside sliders as they are called), with plenty of cold Santa Ana wind events from storms hitting the Rocky Mountains, and the anything goes cut-off low pressure systems also a common feature this winter, especially this week, next week, and through December, into January.
-->Overall, we expect near average temperatures and near to below average snowfall in the early season (only near average temperatures because the warmer temperatures between storms balance out the colder than average storms and temperatures we expect during unsettled weather periods). We expect the loved Santa Ana wind events to occur at times as storms deposit cold air across Nevada/ Utah. This cold air then seeps into SoCal as colder snow making weather for the north-facing slopes of the mountains. Cut-off low pressure systems, though a bit more dicey and hard to predict, can provide Mountain High with some of its biggest dumps of snow, so with these storms a good possibility, we could still do pretty well.
-->After the Christmas-New Year rush, the La Nada may start to wear off, being replaced by a weak El Nino SST pattern. This means we could see a strengthening jet stream and increased moisture in our late winter snow storms, late January-February and through April, for more consistent powder and conditions. We will keep this outlook updated as more information becomes available. If you want to know when the snow is coming, within 5 minutes or less of us entering the data in our custom Mountain High forecast, be sure to pick up our high quality iPhone app, which comes with unlimited forecast snow alerts and many other features like the ability to send in remote snow reports, and browse all of our forecasts plus other content, or just your favorites.CM
Wide variety of natural terrain which dwarfs other S. California resorts, more on par with the Tahoe resorts in N. California. Most acreage and vertical ft. in S. California, including widest variety of terrain from beginner to expert. Widely spaced trees provide excellent glade skiing along with the only true double black diamond runs found locally. Closest Area to L.A., only 14 miles N. of 210 Frwy in Upland, 30 miles E. of L.A.