Updated Saturday, March 8, 2014 - A high pressure ridge holds across the southwest US (mostly sunny and dry). Relatively warm weather disturbances will move through the northwest US and northern Rocky Mountains (with mostly rain up to relatively high elevations of the Cascades and northern Rocky Mountains, and snow above that). Late Sunday and Monday a stronger and colder storm hits northern California through the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains with a decent shot of new snow. This system drops south across Nevada mid week, then eastward and away on Thursday.
Please see the 1-2+ week long range outlook toward the bottom of this page.
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(Check out our US snow pack - snow depth - snow temperature - new snow - etc. maps!)
7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 14 to 24 March, 2014 - Next week we expect Pacific storms to move in with periods of snowfall across the resort areas of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. Sunshine moves in next Wednesday and Thursday (12-13th) as high pressure ridging re-bounds. Between the 17th and 20th, we may see a longer-lasting large scale trough of low pressure (and unsettled weather, rain and snow) develop across the western US. This could really help out the Sierra Nevada snow pack and reservoirs, which is needed not only for recreation, but for agriculture in California. The northwest US and northern Rocky Mountains look colder and snowy at this time, possibly very cold, and possibly with some heavy snow developing. We will be watching. CM
Longer Range Outlook
As of now, March 2014, we are continuing to be 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 (decades), and it has made any recent years El Nino SST patterns weaker.
We expect the ENSO Neutral, or La Nada pattern (almost a La Nina) to continue, and in the last 30 days we have seen more of a La Nina pattern develop with colder SST's along the eastern Equatorial Pacific and even the region 3.4 always referred to, though less so in 3.4. We are not seeing the trend toward El Nino yet.
Since we are seeing an actual cooling of the eastern Equatorial Pacific in the last month, and not much change in the 3.4 region, we expect this to not bode well for a shift out of a La Nada pattern, yet. If we start to see warming in the region mentioned, then we expect a potential strengthening jet stream across the Pacific, and increased moisture in general for Pacific storms as they move in more directly off the Pacific (we already got a taste of this with recent very strong but snow-level challenged storms). More of these may move in mainly after the 15th and affect all areas of the west, but for now these Pacific storms mainly affect the northwest US and northern Rocky Mountains, plus Colorado (as the southwest US ridge of high pressure continues, again next week). 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.
In the Northern Idaho Panhandle between Montana and eastern Washington, approximately 50 miles south of Canada and 11 miles northwest of Sandpoint, Idaho, you will find Schweitzer Mountain Resort. With the addition of Stella, Idaho's first six-pack, Schweitzer now boasts 2,500 acres of varied and exciting terrain. The area consists of two very large bowls, and within each of the two, there are two smaller bowls divided by gradually sloping ridges.