->This free forecast is brought to you courtesy of Aspen-Snowmass Resort<-
Short Range Forecast Discussion - Updated for Monday, September 29, 2014 - Weakened low pressure moves in today, with much cooler air and showers overtaking the area as upper level instability and increased moisture move in. Heavy snow, over 1/2 foot, is possible for elevations above 11,000 feet today through tonight, mainly west and south of Vail Pass (incl. mountains around Aspen-Snowmass) under a south and southwest flow of winds aloft. Snow levels drop to 9,500 feet and under tonight, but above 8,000 feet, so precipitation should remain all rain in the town of Aspen. On Tuesday we expect a drier and cool day, with unsettled conditions and lingering isolated showers, rain and higher elevation snow (9,000 to 10,000 foot snow levels), and sun mixed with clouds but a daytime clearing trend. Clouds increase Tuesday night as a weak upper-level weather disturbance passes through, dropping a dusting of snow to near 9,000 feet. On Wednesday we see mostly sun and a milder but still cooler than usual day, unsettled. A stronger weather disturbance approaches, and Wednesday evening/ night looks cold, and possibly "snowy". Snow may fall to 8,000 feet this time (forecast calls for 9,000 feet for now), and this may be Aspen's first shot of snow in town. Low pressure clears out on an unusually cold Thursday, with much more sunshine, chilly temperatures, and drier northwest winds (a real fall-like day). Break out the hot cocoa! Friday and Saturday we expect milder temperatures and mostly sunny skies under an upper-level high pressure ridge. CM
Do you want to keep track of the US and southwest Canada snowpack? Check here >.
7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 05 to 15 October, 2014 - It looks like we may be experiencing a period of dry and milder weather almost this whole period of time, under an upper-level high pressure ridge across the western US (almost all of the western US may be affected by this ridge, with warmer than average weather and mostly sunny skies). We will be watching. CM
Longer Range Outlook
As of now, September 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, still favorable for California and the desert Southwest, plus much of Colorado and northern New Mexico).
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 this winter. This is our outlook for now, and we will update as more info becomes available. All of this information is generated in-house.
We will keep this outlook updated as more information becomes available. If you want to know when the snow is coming (and be able to set unlimited alerts for any resort), within 5 minutes or less of us (our our sources) entering the data into any of our forecasts, be sure to download the app.
Deep in the San Juans, Durango Mountain Resort's trademark benched, rolling terrain creates a winter playground for any level of skier and snowboarder. With 1200 acres, 85 trails and 2000+ vertical, Purgatory Mountain boasts steep shots on the front side, tree shots on teh back side, intermediate terrain in the middle and the dedicated Columbine learning area for first timers.