In the discussion from yesterday I mentioned I wasn’t sold on the snow amounts that the NWS was forecasting–they have now trended downward toward my original forecast of 2-4 inches with up to 6 inches in favorable locations. I only expect a short-lived, fairly weak band of moisture to move through tomorrow (Saturday) morning. With a few snow showers in the valley and a few hours of accumulating snow in the mountains. This morning, GFS backed away from idea of undercutting the ridge between the 15-20th of January but has come back more in line on the afternoon run. Don’t trust the models right now as they have been all over the place all season and have a difficult time with pattern changes. Going to forecast based on my gut instinct, and that says that we will be more likely to start seeing storms beyond mid-month but it’s impossible to say exactly when or how much. Stay tuned….
Granted, the models have been looking better for the system entering the area on Saturday. But I’m not sold yet. We’ve had too many of these same type of “slider” systems this year that have disappointed us with little or no snow. Models would suggest 4-8 inches of snow but I think they are overdoing it. I would expect 2-4 inches with maybe 6 inches in a few select locations. Hopefully I’m wrong but these systems have a history of being moisture starved and fast moving.
Ridge will build back in Sunday into early next week with temps warming again and inversions developing once again. A system is progged to give us another glancing blow around Wednesday of next week, but again, I wouldn’t expect anything more than an inch or two at this time. After Wednesday, things are much less clear. GFS and ECMWF both show similar patterns but vary on the details. A ridge of high pressure is going to build up toward the Aleutians, at this time, many ensembles have suggested that lows will drop down the east side of this ridge into the east pacific and then tap into moisture that undercuts the ridge. This is historically a pattern that is very conducive for snowfall along the west coast and inter-mountain west.
For weeks, the general movement of the teleconnections and the MJO lead me to believe that a pattern change was imminent and I have just been waiting to see if/when the models picked up on a change. It looks like this may be the beginning of them picking up on the pattern change (despite the MJO now dying altogether). Of course, I want to give you the good news but I must remind everybody that this is still 10+ days away and a LOT can change between now and then. Right now, any news is good news. We’ll keep a close eye on this for you. Stay tuned . . .