7 day to 2 week+ forecast (since 1998) - 22 October to 01 November, 2014 - After the 20th we start seeing stronger storms move in off the Pacific as western US high pressure breaks down, allowing storms to affect the northwest US/ northern California (Tahoe), southwest Canada, and also the central and northern Rocky Mountains, with some mostly light to moderate snow possible at higher resort elevations. Snow falls to 8,000-9,000 feet in Utah and Colorado next Wednesday and Thursday as low pressure sweeps through and out (out on Thursday). Storms should become more frequent with less sunny weather overall (of course this is seasonal) then and through the rest of October. Next Friday through Sunday ~ 24th-26th we see upper-level high pressure ridging build across most of the western US, for mostly sunny skies and dry/ milder conditions. By the following week (starting with Monday and Tuesday the 27th/ 28th) we see rain and snow across the northwest US and southwest Canada as Gulf of Alaska low pressure starts moving in again, but just more windy conditions for Colorado and Utah, northern New Mexico, northern Arizona as upper-level high pressure ridging flattens out at this time. The last few days of October, through Halloween, we may see a stronger and colder low pressure system drop into the western US with rain and snow from Tahoe to Colorado (southern extent of precipitation), plus all areas to the north of this. We will be watching. 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
Starting from the main lodge (8,260'), you're launched into nearly 1,500 vertical feet in just three and a half minutes. The reward? Panoramic views... spectacular Lake Tahoe to the west, the entire state of Nevada to the east. But the real payoff begins as you descend into nearly 1,200 acres of some of the Sierra's best powder on 60+ trails and endless glades. No ski resort is more conveniently located than Lake Tahoe's Mt. Rose. It boasts the closest skiing and riding to the Reno/Tahoe International Airport. It's just 25 minutes from over 17,000 unbelievably affordable hotel rooms in exciting Reno, Nevada. This ideal locale makes Tahoe's highest base ski resort the perfect choice for the first and last day of your Lake Tahoe vacation.