Strong high pressure ridge will keep storms away this week with Spring-like temperatures on the mountains. A good time to get out of the poor air quality in the valleys and work on your goggle tan.
Ridge is firmly established and only strengthening. This week will be quite warm on the mountain with mid to upper 40s above 8k feet. The valleys will be inverted with poor air quality continuing to worsen.
The ridge will break down just a little bit this weekend, allowing for a weak system to clip the area. At this time, it doesn’t look like there will be much, if any, snowfall associated with this system, but a cold front will help to drop temps and scour out valleys. Unfortunately, the ridge will redevelop by early next week.
So when is our next real shot for snowfall? Right now, both the GFS and Euro agree that a system could round the ridge and bring us some precipitation around February 18th. This is at the very end of operational runs of the models, which means confidence is low in any details, but at this point it looks to be our next shot at something.
Overall, the pattern will be abnormally dry through the middle of February. You can see that clearly with the CFS’s Week 1 and 2 precipitation anomalies showing very dry conditions over the western US:
If you’re looking for good news…. Long range models do still indicate that we will gradually transition to a more active pattern right at the end of February and into early March. This is a long way out, so confidence in this is very low…. You can see this more active pattern when you look at Week 3 and 4 in the CFS:
For now, we are still in the waiting and hoping stage. We’ll keep an eye on that potential February 18th system and see if models continue to hold on to that idea. Stay patient… Strong ridges like this are common at one point or another during each winter. I think chances are extremely high that we go back to an active pattern with plenty more powder days to come.